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Updated: May 21, 2010 14:24 IST

‘Fuel swap deal does not address all concerns’

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White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs during the daily briefing in Washington. Photo: AP
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs during the daily briefing in Washington. Photo: AP

The White House has said Iran’s recent nuclear fuel swapping deal with Turkey and Brazil does not address all the concerns of the US and its international partners about Tehran’s nuclear weapon program.

“While we acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of the Turks and Brazilians, I think it is important to understand that that agreement alone does not address or that proposal alone in its limited form does not fully address all of the concerns that the P5-plus-1 and the larger international community have with Iran’s nuclear program,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said at his daily press briefing.

“I think it’s important to understand that the proposal that Iran says they’ve entered into now is less than what they agreed to eight months ago. They did not agree to, as they had in October, sit down with the P5-plus-1 to have a broader, fuller discussion about Iran’s nuclear program,” he said in response to a question.

Iran did not agree to provide unfettered access to its nuclear facilities, Mr. Gibbs said, adding the proposal does not address in any form the increased enrichment that Tehran claimed it was undertaking to provide material for its research reactor.

Asserting that there are responsibilities that the Iranians have and that they must undertake, Mr. Gibbs said: “While the proposal that was outlined on Monday would be a step in the right direction because of the amount of low-enriched uranium that would be transferred -- again, assuming that the Iranians kept up their end of the deal, which has not -- has almost never been the case -- we have had eight months of progression.”

The progression has included increased enrichment, Mr. Gibbs said, adding the proposal, again, failed to live up to even what Tehran wanted to do eight months ago

The White House spokesman appreciated the role played by Brazil and Turkey in this regard.

“I would again acknowledge the role that they played in trying to get Iran to live up to its obligations. I think the international community, by releasing the consensus of the P5-plus-1 after that, understands that there is more that has to be done,” Mr. Gibbs said.

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