Iran: Dialogue on fuel swap can continue

Mottaki says halt to talks applies only to nuclear program.

Mottaki has a fit 311 187 (photo credit: AP)
Mottaki has a fit 311 187
(photo credit: AP)
Iran's decision to halt talks with the world applies only to its nuclear program, and does not include a possible nuclear fuel deal, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was quoted as saying Tuesday.
Mottaki went on to say that his country's uranium enrichment program is separate from a UN-drafted plan to swap its low-enriched uranium for higher-enriched uranium in the form of fuel rods, which Tehran needs for a medical research reactor.
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"Negotiations about the fuel swap are only about the fuel swap and negotiations with five-plus-one are about the common points of the proposed packages... these two things are separate," AFP quoted him as saying.
He said that the Iranian response to a Brazilian- and Turkish-backed deal was "being prepared."
Mottaki's comments came the day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Teheran would not hold talks with the West over its disputed nuclear program until late August to "punish" world powers for imposing tougher economic sanctions, as hundreds protested outside the French embassy in Teheran on Monday.
The UN Security Council approved a fourth round of sanctions against Iran earlier this month over Teheran's refusal to halt uranium enrichment.