Turkey warm to storing Iranian uranium

Turkey is warm to storin

ahmadinejad smiley wave 248 88 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
ahmadinejad smiley wave 248 88 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Friday that if asked, his country would be willing to temporarily store Iran's enriched uranium to help defuse a standoff over Western suspicions that Teheran is trying to build an atomic bomb. Yildiz stated that storing low-level enriched uranium in Turkey would not pose a problem, adding that although such a request had not been made, the issue was still being discussed. If asked, he concluded, "we would not say no." The idea that Turkey could play a role in the crisis was raised in an American television interview by IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei, who noted that Turkey, a Muslim country and a NATO member, has good relations with both neighboring Iran and the US. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad discussed the issue during a visit to Turkey on Monday. Iranian Chief of Staff Hassan Firouzabadi spoke later on Friday in support of the proposals to ship most of Teheran's low-enriched uranium stockpile abroad for further processing, AFP reported, quoting the Mehr news agency. The initiative will prove that the country's "peaceful nuclear activities" are "bona fide," Firouzabadi was quoted as saying. Iran's chief of staff also urged Russia to ship the S-300 surface-air missile system to Teheran in accordance with a contract signed between the two countries months ago, PressTV reported. According to the report, Firouzabadi expressed confusion over Moscow's six-month delay. "Don't Russian strategists realize Iran's geopolitical importance to their security?" the general was quoted as saying. The system would significantly boost Iran's defense capabilities, especially against aircraft.