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Clinton: Iran Fuel Swap Deal Has 'Deficiencies'

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Iran's letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency detailing its acceptance of a fuel swap deal has "a number of deficiencies," and she called Tehran's last-minute agreement with Brazil and Turkey a "transparent ploy" to avoid possible new U.N. sanctions. Secretary Clinton has wrapped up wide-ranging bilateral talks.

On Monday, Iran formally notified the IAEA of its response to the nuclear-fuel swap deal, under which it would ship some low-enriched uranium to Turkey in return for higher grade fuel for a Tehran research reactor.

Following two days of political and economic talks in Beijing, Secretary Clinton told reporters she discussed what she found to be "shortcomings" in the Iranian response with Chinese officials. "There are a number of deficiencies with it that do not answer the concerns of the international community," she said.

She said those include a lack of recognition of the deep concern over Iran's intention to continue enriching some uranium to high levels. Clinton said the international community recognizes that Tehran only chose to accept the fuel swap deal because it is facing imminent action in the U.N. Security Council.

"There is a recognition on the part of the international community that the agreement that was reached in Tehran a week ago between Iran and Brazil and Turkey only occurred because the Security Council was on the brink of publicly releasing the text of the resolution that we have been negotiating for many weeks. It was a transparent ploy to avoid Security Council action," said the secretary of state.

The United States presented that draft resolution to the 15-member council last week. The text had the approval of the permanent five members of the council, which includes China.

Beijing, which has extensive trade and economic ties with Tehran, has been reluctant to press for new sanctions. But a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said Beijing welcomes the agreement reached with Brazil and Turkey, and that discussion of new sanctions in the council does not mean the end of diplomatic efforts.