Recep Tayyip Erdogan 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Turkey's prime minister is
seeking international support for a deal under which Iran
would ship much of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office said Saturday he had 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 included all permanent and
non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.
Iran will submit an official letter to the IAEA on Monday morning conveying its acceptance of the uranium enrichment deal brokered by Turkey and Iran
, state-run news agency IRNA reported on Friday, citing a statement by the country's National Security Council.
“Following the joint declaration by Iran, Turkey and Brazil, permanent representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran at the IAEA officially announced its readiness to submit our country’s letter to the IAEA Chief per paragraph six of the Teheran Declaration," the statement reportedly read.RELATED:Iran sanctions likely to be delayed US lifts sanctions on Russian firms linked to Iran, SyriaBrazil and Turkey: Mediators for what? China, Russia support Iran sanctionsUN powers back new Iran sanctions
Also on Friday, IRNA quoted a top Iranian cleric as saying that the deal was a "powerful response" that "put the ball in the West's court." He reportedly stated that far from being a ploy
meant to facilitate enrichment for military use, the deal should be seen as a confidence-building measure.Ban: IAEA to make its own assessment on nuclear issue
Meanwhile in Turkey, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed hope that the deal reached last week would "open the door to a negotiated settlement" between Iran and Western nations, according to a Reuters report.
Ban reportedly called the enrichment agreement "an important initiative in
resolving international tensions over Iran's nuclear program by peaceful
means." He went on to praise Turkey's role and cooperation with Brazil
in negotiating the deal, stressing that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would have to make its
own assessment concerning the issue at hand.
The deal – signed with Turkey and Brazil on Monday – would see Iran
shipping its low-enriched uranium for further enrichment in Turkey, to
be returned as fuel rods that could not be used for a nuclear weapons
program without first being reprocessed.
While the new arrangement would see a similar amount of uranium shipped
abroad as in a deal proposed in October by the P5+1, Iran has since
produced sufficient additional low-enriched material to leave it with
enough to make such a weapon even if it sends the originally agreed on
amount abroad. In addition, Iran has signaled it intends to keep
enriching uranium to a higher level in the meantime.Hilary Leila Krieger and E.B. Solomont
contributed to this report.