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18 May, 2010 08:54

Iran agrees to nuclear deal in talks with Brazil and Turkey

Iran has agreed to ship most of its enriched uranium supply to Turkey in a deal that could ease international tensions over the county’s nuclear program.

Iran has agreed to ship most of its enriched uranium supply to Turkey in a deal that could ease international tensions over the county’s nuclear program. The agreement, reached in talks with Turkey and Brazil, has been described as nearly identical to one Washington and its allies have been encouraging Tehran to accept for six months.

Moscow has welcomed the surprise nuclear fuel swap deal. President Dmitry Medvedev praised the move, saying it should help ease international vexation concerning Iran's nuclear problem.

Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov, who is in Washington discussing potential sanctions against Iran, says the country should be given a chance.

“We should give some sort of a chance to Iran to prove that this time the scheme that has been agreed in Tehran the other day is not theoretical, but practical. Because we have a lot experience, when the systems were organized, but later Iran failed to fulfill its promises,” Ivanov said.

Political analyst Igor Khokhlov from the Moscow-based Institute of World Economy and International Relations sees Russia’s position as very prudent.

“Russia's relation with Persia (present Iran) has developed for centuries. So Russia has been a major player in the region and its approach to the problem is prudent. Russia's president says a bad peace is better than a good war, and tries to negotiate Iran into some reasonable terms,” Khokhlov told RT.

The White House says Iran needs to demonstrate through deeds and not simply words that it is willing to live up to international obligations or face sanctions.

“The whole framework of this fuel swap deal was to try and address the concern about Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium without recourse to this demand that Iran suspend the enrichment of uranium, which everyone knows is a non-starter for the Iranians,” said Robert Naiman, policy director at Just Foreign Policy. “That’s not diplomacy to say I demand you do the thing everyone knows you’re not going to do.”

Many are skeptical of the deal because it was not linked to the US or another prominent Western democracy.

There is a notion in the Washington bubble that when the United States says it’s time for a War, it’s time for war. When the United States says it’s time for peace, it’s time for peace and when Washington says it’s time for sanctions, it’s time for sanctions,” said Naiman, “but that’s ridiculous.”

Naiman emphasized that regardless of its provenance, if this deal goes through, Iran will be able to avoid a fourth round of UN sanctions.

Read also – Iran Agrees to Ship Nuclear Fuel to Turkey