Iran fuel deal would not fix nuclear issue: France

PARIS (BestGrowthStock) – A Turkish-Brazilian deal to help Iran swap nuclear fuel will do nothing to resolve core concerns over Iran’s nuclear program, the French Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said France wanted to see details of the accord, announced earlier on Monday, before judging its merits.

“However, let us not deceive ourselves, a solution to the (fuel) question, if it happens, would do nothing to settle the problem posed by the Iranian nuclear program,” he said in a statement.

“At the heart of the nuclear problem is the continuation of enrichment activities in Natanz, the construction of a heavy water reactor at Arak, the dissimulation of the Qom site and the question of IAEA inspectors which have yet to be addressed.”

Western powers are convinced Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons and are negotiating imposing a fourth round of United Nations’ sanctions on Tehran over the issue.

Iran, Brazil and Turkey signed a nuclear fuel swap agreement on Monday designed to allay concern over the Islamic Republic’s atomic ambitions and avert fresh sanctions.

Valero said France welcomed the efforts made by Brazil and Turkey to reach a deal, but said Iran had to send the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) a written explanation of its intentions regarding any nuclear fuel exchange.

“We should not forget that the Iranians have multiplied their contradictory statements on this subject in recent months,” he added.

Iran said it had agreed to transfer 1,200 kg (2,646 lb) of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey within a month in return for higher-enriched nuclear fuel for a medical research reactor.

Iran, which says its atomic program is purely for peaceful purposes and not to make bombs as the West suspects, had earlier insisted any such exchange must take place on its territory.

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(Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Dominic Evans)

Iran fuel deal would not fix nuclear issue: France