Iran wants to see Turkey and Brazil at nuclear negotiating table
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday urged that Turkey and Brazil be included in nuclear talks between his country and major world powers, set to restart this fall. Speaking to state-owned English language Press TV, Ahmadinejad said Iran is ready to resume nuclear negotiations with the West in September, adding that Turkey and Brazil should have a seat at the negotiating table as well. The European Union and Canada recently adopted tougher sanctions against Iran to put pressure on Tehran for its controversial nuclear program. Following the announcement of these sanctions, Iran's Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh yesterday said his country is unconditionally ready to restart talks with the group of Vienna (the US, Russia, France and the IAEA) on a possible nuclear swap deal. Under a Turkey- and Brazil-brokered agreement in May, Iran agreed to send some of its low-enriched uranium abroad in return of nuclear fuel. However, this didn't prevent US-led world powers from pursuing fresh UN sanctions against Iran, blocking further progress in line with that agreement. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu recently met with his Brazilian and Iranian counterparts in Istanbul to discuss how to revive the stalled swap deal process. Davutoglu said he still sees a chance of Iran doing a nuclear swap based on their agreement. In related news, Russian President Dimitry Medmedev criticized the EU for the new sanctions, saying they would dampen Western and Russian hopes to engage in close cooperation on the Iranian nuclear issue. A statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry said, "This move not only undermines our joint efforts to find a political and diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue but also deems decisions carefully adjusted and coordinated by the UN unimportant."