Brazil urges flexibility in Iran nuclear swap deal

Brazil wants to see a revival of a nuclear fuel swap deal as a way to end the West's standoff with Iran over its nuclear programme, FM Celso Amorim said.

Brazil urges flexibility in Iran nuclear swap deal

Brazil wants to see a revival of a nuclear fuel swap deal as a way to end the West's standoff with Iran over its nuclear programme, Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said on Tuesday.

On a visit to Tehran, Amorim said Brazil wanted to help resolve the dispute.

The temporary member of the U.N. Security Council has rejected U.S. pressure to back sanctions it wants passed in the coming weeks, and Amorim called on all sides to show "flexibility" to reach a compromise.

"There is no political consensus that Iran has to be isolated or for Brazil to move in that direction," Amorim told a news conference alongside his Iranian counterpart.

Amorim said he hoped a fuel swap deal, agreed in principle last October, could be revived.

The initial agreement was for Iran to ship 1,200 kg (2,646 lb) of low-enriched uranium to Russia and France to make into fuel for a medical research reactor.

Iran later said it would only accept a simultaneous swap on Iranian soil, a change which other parties rejected.

"Iran should have nuclear activities for peaceful purposes and the international community should also be given the guarantee that will be no violation and no diversion to military purposes," Amorim told reporters.

A negotiated solution should mean that any ambiguities about the nuclear programme are ended, he said.

"The reason we attach high importance to this nuclear fuel swap deal ... is because this agreement in itself is a major one and secondly it creates confidence with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and some Western countries," Amorim said.

"We're hopeful that this agreement must be made, but like any other negotiation there must be flexibility on both sides.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has warned again "pushing Iran into a corner", is due to visit Tehran in May, reflecting the countries' growing diplomatic and economic ties.

Reuters

Last Mod: 27 Nisan 2010, 14:04
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