Iran Makes Uranium Deal
Via the LAT: Iran agrees to exchange of nuclear material
In what could be a stunning breakthrough in the years-long diplomatic deadlock over Iran’s nuclear program, Tehran has agreed to send the bulk of its nuclear material to Turkey as part of an exchange meant to ease international concerns about the Islamic Republic’s aims and provide fuel for an ailing medical reactor, the spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry told state television Monday morning.
The BBC further explains:
"Turkey will be the place to keep Iran’s 3.5% [low-enriched] uranium," Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told a news briefing after foreign ministers signed the deal.
He said that 1,200kg would be shipped to Turkey, and that Iran would notify the IAEA, "within a week".
In return, Iran says it expects within a year 120kg of more highly enriched uranium (20%), a purity well below that used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons.
The BBC’s Tehran correspondent Jon Leyne, in London, says the agreement does not make clear whether Iran’s low-grade uranium will be used to make the new fuel or just held as a kind of security deposit.
As Paul Reynolds of the BBC writes: “Whether this is a breakthrough or a device to try to stop further sanctions – currently being discussed – remains to be determined.”