Iran FM: Nuclear Fuel Talks to Commence in September

Last month, Iran President Ahmadinejad conditioned renewed talks on participating countries stating whether they opposed Israel's purported atomic arsenal

Talks between Iran and western powers over a plan to supply fuel for a Tehran nuclear reactor should start late September, the Bloomberg news network quoted Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki as saying on Thursday.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki

Iran has failed to respond to a United Nations-drafted uranium swap deal, instead opting for an alternative plan backed by Turkey and Brazil, which includes the uranium-for-rods exchange but didn't mandate a halt on Iran's enrichment process and fell short of United Nations demands.

Mottaki, according the statement, given to Iranian state network Press TV, also claimed that Turkey and Brazil would be present at the talks, despite comments made by officials of both countries that they would diminish their involvement in the debate over Iran's contentious nuclear program.

"Turkey and Brazil still adopt the same stance and we welcome their presence in talks," Mottaki said adding that those countries would be present at the discussion as to "see that the negotiations be held in the proper way," he said.

Late last month, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iran would not hold talks with the West over its nuclear program until late August to punish world powers for imposing tougher United Nations Security Council sanctions against the country.

Ahmadinejad added that those countries interested in resuming talks must first make clear whether they oppose Israel's purported atomic arsenal.

Mottaki's announcement of Turkey and Brazil's alleged participation in the planned conference comes after officials from both countries stated, on separate occasions, that they would stay out of the global debate regarding Iran's nuclear program.

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Clinton held a 45-minute conversation with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davotuglu during her visit to the region on, at the end of which a senior U.S. official told reporters that Davutoglu agreed to leave the issue of Iran's nuclear program to United Nations Security council powers and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

In turn, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim saud late last month that his country's active support of Iran in its dispute with the West over its nuclear program is being scaled back after the UN Security Council decision to move for a fourth set of sanctions.

"We will help whenever we can, but of course there is a limit to where we can go," Amorim told reporters on the sidelines of an official visit to Austria.