Iran to snub fuel-swap deal if sanctions imposed

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Iran to snub fuel-swap deal if sanctions imposed

TEHRAN - A top Iranian MP said Tehran will withdraw from a deal to swap low-enriched uranium for fuel for a research reactor if the UN Security Council slaps more sanctions on the country, the ISNA news agency reported Thursday.

By (AFP)

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Published: Fri 21 May 2010, 12:50 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 7:59 AM

“There is the likelihood of another set of sanctions being issued against Iran, but we have already said that if it goes through then our commitments (on the LEU swap) agreement will no longer be considered,” deputy parliamentary speaker Mohammad Reza Bahonar was quote as saying.

Bahonar’s remark comes two days after Tehran’s archfoe, Washington, and other world powers dismissed Tehran’s agreement to send around half its stock of LEU to Turkey in exchange for higher-enriched nuclear fuel.

On Tuesday, the United States submitted a draft UN resolution calling for an international clampdown on Iranian banks, shipping and business dealings that might be linked to its nuclear activities.

The draft has the blessing of all five of the veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council, including the usual standouts China and Russia, Washington said.

However, Brazil and Turkey, who brokered the fuel-swap deal, issued a joint letter on Wednesday demanding their agreement with Iran be considered, and that the sanctions push be dropped.

The two are among the 10 non-permanent council members.

Western powers suspect that Iran’s atomic programme is a cover for a nuclear weapons drive. Tehran denies that, saying its activities are for civilian use.

Already under three sets of UN sanctions over its defiance of repeated ultimatums to suspend uranium enrichment, Iran touted its agreement with Brazil and Turkey as a goodwill gesture that paves the way for a resumption of talks with the major powers.

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