Tehran only trusts Russia in nuclear fuel exchange: Iranian envoy

January 26, 2011

TEHRAN - Iran’s permanent ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Organization has expressed Iran’s readiness to directly exchange uranium with Russia without the participation of the United States and France.

According to the Interfax news agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh made the remarks in a live interview with the Moscow-based radio network “Echo of Moscow” on Friday.
On May 17, 2010, Iran, Turkey, and Brazil issued a declaration, according to which Iran was to ship 1200 kilograms of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey to be exchanged for 120 kilograms of 20 percent enriched nuclear fuel to power the Tehran research reactor, which produces radioisotopes for cancer treatment. According to the agreement, the exchange was to take place in Turkey under the supervision of the IAEA and Iran.
-No need for U.S., French intervention in nuclear fuel exchange
Soltanieh said, “There is no need for the project involving the Americans; the Russians would be responsible for enrichment,” the University 5 Daily News reported.
Iran only trusts Russia in the issue of nuclear fuel exchange, he added.
“The French do not have to take part,” Soltanieh said. “I am convinced that, with existing technology in Russia, Moscow can make those fuel rods (uranium), so there is no need to involve the French.”
So far, the Russians have insisted that France’s collaboration is essential to carry out the project.
He expressed Iran’s readiness to negotiate with the Vienna group (the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United States, France, and Russia).
“I do not know why Russia and other countries do not want to sit at the negotiating table with us in Vienna,” he added.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian ambassador said that Iran has not and will not abide by the UN Security Council resolutions since they are politically-motivated, lack legal weight, and violate the international law.
The hegemonic powers including the United States are using the UN Security Council as a tool, Soltanieh stated.
However, they have failed to pressure Iran, the top diplomat added.