ANKARA: Turkey insisted on Thursday that rejecting a nuclear swap deal with Iran would be “unreasonable” and said that a US push for fresh sanctions on Tehran was creating an “absurd situation.”
The swap deal, brokered by Turkey and Brazil last week, does not amount to a thorough solution of the Iran nuclear standoff “but it is a step forward on resolving the swap issue, which is one of the important elements of the nuclear file,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Burak Ozugergin told reporters.
“It is true that the glass is half empty... but we say that further action should be now taken to fill it... It is unreasonable to reject the deal saying the glass is half empty,” he said.
The spokesperson criticised the stance of the US, which submitted a draft resolution at the UN Security Council for tough new sanctions on Tehran, shortly after Iran, Brazil and Turkey announced the deal.
“Submitting the paper a day after the agreement was reached means that you prefer to turn a blind eye to certain developments... This leads to an absurd situation,” Ozugergin said.
The accord calls for Tehran to ship around half its stock of low-enriched uranium to Turkey and months later receive a supply of more highly enriched uranium suitable for research and medical use.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Monday it had received Iran’s formal notification of the deal and would communicate the contents of the letter to the US, France and Russia.
Turkey and Brazil, both non-permanent members of the Security Council, are opposed to fresh sanctions on Iran.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 28th, 2010.