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Updated: May 17, 2010 19:37 IST

Iran-Turkey deal not enough to stop UN sanctions, says EU

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Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; File photo: AP.
Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; File photo: AP.

Iran’s commitment to hand over some of its uranium for enrichment to Turkey is not enough to stop work on tougher UN sanctions, a spokeswoman for the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said on Monday.

Iran has signed an agreement to swap its uranium in Turkey for enrichment, in a deal brokered by Turkey and Brazil.

Spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said the deal appeared to be “a variant” of what was unsuccessfully proposed as a goodwill gesture last October by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“If Iran has now accepted the IAEA proposal, this is welcome but it does not solve the fundamental problem, which is that the international community has serious concerns about the peaceful intention of the Iran nuclear program,” she said.

“Iran’s failure to engage seriously and provide reassurances about the programme and not respecting the resolutions that were adopted is the reason why we are still pursuing the sanctions resolution in the Security Council,” Ms. Kocijancic added.

Earlier on Monday, EU President Herman Van Rompuy urged Iran to reassure the international community about the aims of its nuclear programme.

The EU was “very concerned” about the programme, he said in Madrid.

Tehran had hitherto refused to enter “serious discussions” about its nuclear programme, despite the EU having invited it to open such talks several months ago, Mr. Van Rompuy said.

Iran had introduced a lot of “complications” into the situation over the past six months, he said, urging Tehran to reply in writing to proposals made by the IAEA.

Keywords: Uranium swap deal

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