Iran, Turkey, Brazil reach nuclear agreement

Monday, May 17, 2010

An image of Iran's Natanz Nuclear Facility

Iran, Turkey, and Brazil emerged with an agreement yesterday from talks regarding Iran's nuclear program.

In this new deal, Iran will send its uranium to Turkey for processing in return for nuclear fuel. Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu revealed the agreement Sunday night, which may alleviate international tensions about Iran's nuclear program. However, he did not specify how much uranium would be transferred, or how the plan will be implemented. Leaders of each country will finalize the plan later today.

The eighteen-hour discussion in Tehran yesterday included Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who acted as a neutral broker in the deal. Lula da Silva also visited Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, although only Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was actively involved in the talks.

Prior to the meeting, many had thought the chance of an agreement slim. Iran, however, seemed to be open to new ideas. Iranian atomic director Ali Akbar Salehi said Saturday that “things are moving along positively” in regard to such proposals. Iran had originally refused to trade its uranium, but seemed to indicate last week that it had changed its mind.

Earlier, Iran denied claims by other countries that it plans to advance its nuclear arms program using enriched uranium, saying that it will be used for energy purposes only. The country had also rejected a previous plan by the United Nations for processing uranium elsewhere.