Clinton: “Iran’s letter to IAEA has deficiencies”

26 May 2010

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday Iran’s letter of notification to the UN atomic watchdog on a nuclear fuel swap deal brokered by Turkey and Brazil had “a number of deficiencies.”
“We discussed at some length the shortcomings of the recent proposal put forward by Iran in its letter to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency),” Clinton said following two days of strategic talks with China.
“There are a number of deficiencies which do not answer the concerns of the international community,” she told reporters.
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.
The IAEA itself did not immediately comment on the content of the letter. Western governments have been dismissive of the deal, which they have said fails to address international concerns about Iran’s nuclear programme. “The agreement… between Iran, Brazil and Turkey only occurred because the Security Council was on the brink of publicly releasing the text of the resolution we’ve been negotiating for many weeks,” Clinton said.
Washington forged a compromise on a new draft sanctions resolution in the UN Security Council, which it says has the support of all five permanent members including China, a close ally and energy partner of Tehran. The West and Israel fear that Iran’s atomic programme is a cover for a nuclear weapons drive. Tehran denies this, saying it is peaceful in nature and aimed at civilian energy purposes.
China meanwhile said Tuesday there was still room for diplomacy in the Iranian nuclear standoff, while voicing support for the nuclear fuel swap deal. “The discussions in the Security Council on the Iranian nuclear issue do not mean the end of diplomatic efforts,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters. “We value and welcome the agreement reached between Brazil, Turkey and Iran on Tehran’s research reactor,” she said. “We hope that Iran, the IAEA and other parties concerned will reach an agreement on the specific arrangement at an early date and peacefully solve the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation.”

source: AFP

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