Iran: No nuclear swap deal without support of Western powers
Tehran vows to hand IAEA details on Monday on agreement with Brazil and Turkey to ship part of stock of enriched uranium abroad in exchange for reactor fuel.
Iran's Parliament speaker Ali Larijani warned that the Islamic country would cancel the nuclear fuel swap deal it had recently signed with Turkey and Brazil if Western powers did not endorse it, Israel Radio reported Saturday.
Larijani said that the Iranian parliament backed the agreement; however, if the Western powers continued to refuse their support or threaten the country with further sanctions, he would withdraw his initial support.
The deal, in which Iran will send some of its enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for fuel rods for a Tehran medical research reactor, has failed to ease concerns in the West where there are fears that Tehran will continue to enrich uranium to higher levels.
Under the agreement, the first batch of Iran's uranium would arrive in Turkey within a month.
Earlier, Iran said it intended to go ahead with the deal despite a new sanctions resolution against Tehran pending at the UN, an Iranian parliamentarian said on Saturday.
"Iran is committed to the vows that it made and wants to make them operational and will submit its letter to International Atomic Energy Agency," Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of parliament's Foreign Affairs and National Security Committee, was quoted as saying by semi-official news agency ISNA.
"The Americans' propaganda will not have any effect on Iran's decision ... We advise those countries who want to issue this resolution against Iran not to be manipulated by America."
Earlier Saturday, Turkey's prime minister said he was seeking international support for the deal, as Iran prepares to hand an official letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency chief on Monday about the nuclear fuel swap agreement with Brazil and Turkey.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office said Saturday he has written to the leaders of 26 countries saying the deal would resolve the nuclear standoff with Iran by way of diplomacy and negotiation. The countries include all permanent and non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.
Leaders of the three countries announced the agreement, under which Iran will send some of its enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for fuel rods for a Tehran medical research reactor, this past Monday.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in Istanbul on Friday he hoped the deal would open the way to a negotiated settlement of Iran's row with the West over its nuclear program.
"After the joint announcement of Iran, Turkey and Brazil, Iran's permanent ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency announced the country's readiness to submit the letter to the agency," IRNA reported.
"In a meeting with the agency's chief Yukiya Amano on Monday, Iran will hand over the letter," the news agency added.
Such an arrangement was first discussed last October as a way to cut Iran's uranium stockpile below the minimum that would be needed for a nuclear weapon if enriched to a high fissile purity - and buy time for more negotiations.
Turkey and Brazil - both currently non-permanent members of the UN Security Council - and Iran have urged a halt to talk of further sanctions because of the deal, but Western powers suspect it is an Iranian tactic to avert or delay sanctions.
But the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, after months of negotiations, agreed a draft resolution on a new set of sanctions against Iran that Washington handed to the Security Council on Tuesday.
The new, extended sanctions would target Iranian banks and call for inspection of vessels suspected of carrying cargo related to Iran's nuclear or missile programs.
Iranian officials have dismissed the draft resolution as lacking legitimacy, and rejected international demands that it suspend enrichment.
Erdogan sent a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday that described the uranium swap deal as opening the door for a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff with Iran.