Factbox: Text of Iran letter on nuclear fuel swap offer

VIENNA Mon May 24, 2010 11:20am EDT

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VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran notified the U.N. nuclear watchdog in writing Monday that it accepted a plan to part with 1.2 tonnes of its low-enriched uranium in exchange for special nuclear fuel to run its medical research reactor.

Following is the main text of a letter from Iranian nuclear energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi to International Atomic Energy Agency head Yukiya Amano summarizing Iran's position on the deal it reached last week with the help of Turkey and Brazil. "The Islamic Republic of Iran, as an active member state of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has always been committed to its obligations under the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) and has had wide-ranging cooperation with the IAEA.

"Such cooperation and extended interaction with the agency is an indication of the importance attached to this international organ and the attention devoted to the significance of the NPT.

"Reciprocally, the Islamic Republic of Iran expects that the inalienable rights enshrined in the IAEA Statute and the Article IV of the NPT, as well as the statutory mandate of the agency in providing services to the member states, be recognized and respected, and as a result to benefit from such assistance and services of the agency without discrimination. "The supply of the fuel for Tehran Research Reactor is among the issues which certainly fit within the framework of the agency's statutory function, and the responsibility of the agency in this respect is crystal clear.

"Regretfully, despite the elapse of about one year since the submission of the request by the Islamic Republic of Iran (2 June 2009) for fuel supply for Tehran Research Reactor, (which is) devoted to produc(ing) radioisotopes for medical purposes and providing medical services to about one million people, not only has the fuel not been delivered to my country, but the pursued path in this regard has faced stalemate due to unjustified conditions imposed by other parties.

"At this juncture, I seize this opportunity to announce that in the course of the recent trilateral summit meeting held in Tehran with the presence of the presidents of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Federative Republic of Brazil as well as the Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey --...the latter two countries at present happen to be members of the Board of Governors of the IAEA -- we had constructive talks with respect to nuclear cooperation leading to the 'Joint Declaration by Iran, Turkey and Brazil on 17 May 2010'.

"I, hereby officially present to Your Excellency a copy of the Joint Declaration. The Islamic Republic of Iran reconfirms its agreement with the content of the Joint Declaration and its individual interrelated paragraphs, each bearing a particular importance of its own.

"In order to implement the Joint Declaration, in accordance with its Paragraph 6, the Islamic Republic of Iran hereby officially declares its agreement with the content of the Declaration, in particular with its first five paragraphs as follows: "1. We reaffirm our commitment to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and in accordance with the related articles of the NPT, recall the right of all state parties, including the Islamic Republic of Iran, to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy (as well as nuclear fuel cycle including enrichment activities) for peaceful purposes without discrimination.

"2. We express our strong conviction that we have the opportunity now to begin a forward-looking process that will create a positive, constructive, non-confrontational atmosphere leading to an era of interaction and cooperation.

"3. We believe that the nuclear fuel exchange is instrumental in initiating cooperation in different areas, especially with regard to peaceful nuclear cooperation including nuclear power plant and research reactor construction.

"4. Based on this point, the nuclear fuel exchange is a starting point to begin cooperation and a positive constructive move forward among nations. Such a move should lead to positive interaction and cooperation in the field of peaceful nuclear activities, replacing and avoiding all kinds of confrontation through refraining from measures, actions and rhetorical statements that would jeopardize Iran's rights and obligations under the NPT.

"5. Based on the above, in order to facilitate the nuclear cooperation mentioned above, the Islamic Republic of Iran agrees to deposit 1200 kg LEU in Turkey. While in Turkey the LEU will continue to be the property of Iran. Iran and the IAEA may station observers to monitor the safekeeping of the LEU in Turkey.

"In return, we expect the Agency, also in accordance with paragraph 6 of this declaration, to notify the Vienna Group (USA, Russia, France and the IAEA) of its content, and consequently inform us of the Group's positive response. "Such action, according to this declaration, will pave the wave to commence negotiation for elaboration on further details of the exchange leading to conclusion of a written agreement and as well as making proper arrangements between Iran and the Vienna Group. "We look forward to receive Your Excellency's response in an expedited way.

(Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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