|TEHRAN, Jan. 29, 2011 – Acting Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has insisted that the nuclear fuel swap can only be done based on the Tehran Declaration.|
"As we have previously announced, we are ready to exchange nuclear fuel based on the Tehran Declaration,” Salehi said in response to some reports that the West has offered Iran a new proposal for nuclear fuel swap.
He also said, "The Supreme National Security Council secretary (Saeed Jalili) is responsible for examining and making decision on any new conditions (for fuel exchange).”
"Presently, the Islamic Republic’s official policy is exchanging fuel based on the Tehran Declaration,” he added.
He also confirmed that Iranian delegation has held talks with the Vienna group (the United States, France, and Russia which are potential nuclear fuel suppliers to Iran) on the sidelines of the Istanbul talks on January 21-22.
On May 17, 2010, Iran, Brazil, and Turkey signed the Tehran Declaration, according to which Iran would send 1200 kilograms of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for 120 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium to fuel the Tehran research reactor.
But the United States and its allies ignored the deal meant to show Iran’s goodwill, and imposed a new round of sanctions on Iran in June 2010.
According to Reuters, the major powers again raised the issue of the nuclear fuel swap at Istanbul talks and called on Iran to agree to part with most of its stockpile of enriched uranium under a revised proposal for a nuclear fuel swap.
The report quotes a Western diplomat as stating that during talks in Istanbul EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who represented the major powers at the talks, proposed to the Iranian side that Tehran send out 2,800 kg of low-enriched uranium (LEU) and 40 kg of higher-grade material.
However, Iran said before talks on the new fuel swap proposal, the West should recognize Iran’s right to enrich uranium and the sanctions imposed on Iran should be lifted.
Istanbul talks failed to yield any concrete results.