Iranian FM: Fuel swap chance for mutual trust between Iran and West
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said fuel swap for Tehran research nuclear reactor could be a chance for mutual trust-building. He made the remark in a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu here Tuesday.
"Achievement of a serious agreement on fuel swap needed for the Tehran reactor will allow holding discussions also on other issues; also will positively impact on trust-building," Mottaki said,
Davutoglu stressed the need for further talks on Iran's nuclear program and said Ankara believed in diplomatic ways for solving the issue. He said Turkey, as a neighbor of Iran, supported the notion that much of the issue could be solved through talks and negotiations.
"If Iran makes an initiative to join Turkey to the process of fuel swap needed for the reactor, we are ready to cooperate," - Davutoglu said.
Stressing that Turkey will convey its views both to Iran and the US, the Turkish foreign minister turned to the issue of fuel swap deal and said his country was ready to act as the third country in the procedure.
Iran needs 120 kg (264 lb) of 20 percent-enriched uranium to fuel the Tehran research reactor, which produces medical isotopes for cancer patients and is soon to run out of fuel.
The Tehran laboratory reactor was built 40 years ago by the U.S. Its main function is to produce medicine. Acquiring 19.75-percent uranium from Argentina, Iran provided the laboratory with fuel for the last time in 1993.
Iran, a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), says its nuclear program is directed at the civilian applications of the technology.