Ahmedinejad: "The Tehran swap deal aims to prevent confrontation"
Speaking to Iran's state-owned English language Press TV, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday called a nuclear fuel swap deal brokered by Turkey and Brazil this May the way out of nuclear standoff between Iran and major world powers. Turkey and Brazil have repeatedly said the deal they brokered, for Iran to ship some of its low-enriched uranium abroad in exchange for nuclear fuel for a research reactor in Tehran, is a confidence-building measure to help break the stalemate in nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 (five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany), thus preventing nuclear tension from escalating into a military confrontation. But the deal didn't dissuade the US and its allies from passing a fourth round of UN sanctions against Tehran early this summer. Stating that the Tehran declaration calls for equal opportunities for all countries to produce nuclear energy, Ahmadinejad said the deal is aimed at averting a possible confrontation as well as boosting cooperation. Thanks to Turkey's intensified diplomatic efforts to keep the deal alive to ensure the continuation of nuclear talks with Iran, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iran's Chief Nuclear Negotiator Saeed Jalili are expected to meet in Istanbul this fall to restart the stalled nuclear talks.