News / Middle East

Iran Says Uranium to Go to Turkey, Brazil for Enrichment

Iran says it has agreed to send at least half of its uranium stockpile to Turkey in a swap for nuclear fuel, marking a possible breakthrough in a stalemate over its nuclear program.

Under a deal forged with Turkey and Brazil, Iran would hand over 1,200 kilograms of low-enriched uranium to Turkey.  In exchange, Tehran would receive further enriched nuclear fuel.  

It was not immediately clear where the processing would take place.  Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Tehran will send information to the International Atomic Energy Agency within a week.

"Further details of the exchange will be elaborated through a written agreement and proper arrangement between Iran and the Vienna Group that specifically committed themselves to deliver 120 kilograms of fuel needed for the Tehran research reactor PRR," said Mottaki.

If the agreement goes through, it could slow the growing momentum for a fourth round of international sanctions on Iran over its disputed nuclear program.  The United States and others worry Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, which require even more highly enriched uranium.  Iran denies the charge, saying its nuclear program is intended for peaceful purposes.

The outline of the swap appears much the same as one proposed by the United Nations nuclear agency last year, with Russia and France designated as the countries for swapping and enrichment.    
By taking uranium out of Iran, international powers hope to buy time to persuade Tehran to allow full monitoring of its nuclear program by the IAEA.  

The latest IAEA report suggests 1,200 kilograms of low-enriched uranium would amount to just over half of Iran's stockpile.

Iran initially agreed to the previous deal, then spent months expressing varying degrees of commitment and proposing alternate scenarios, including a swap on Iranian territory. It also continued to enrich uranium.

Turkey and Brazil are seen as more amenable partners to Iran, in part because they have opposed the idea of more sanctions. Both countries are non-permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. The agreement also gives Iran a central role in choosing where the uranium would go.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says the deal should alleviate international concerns.

"For us, now there is no grounds anymore for new sanctions or measures," said Davutoglu.  "It is now time to discuss, as has  been mentioned in the text, Iran will write a letter to the IAEA, and we hope that IAEA in Vienna will react quickly and positively, so that there will be a result in a very short period of time."

Brazil's Foreign Minister, Ceslo Amorim,  characterized the deal as a first, but important step.  

"The right of Iran is assured by the NPT to have peaceful activities in the nuclear area, including enrichment, but also that they offer guarantees to the international community that these activities are not being deviated for military purposes. Of course, these agreements that we wrote today will not answer all the questions but it is a precondition, in a way, for continuing the negotiation," said Amorim.  "That is what other countries have always said, that it was necessary to have this agreement, the swap agreement, in order to continue the conversation."

Initial reaction to the deal from Europe has been guarded.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs