Iran Agrees to Refine Uranium in Turkey
Deal designed to temporarily prevent it from building a weapon
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 17, 2010 6:30 AM CDT
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center, his Brazilian counterpart Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, left, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, talk before signing the agreement.   (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
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(Newser) – Iran agreed today to ship most of its enriched uranium to Turkey in a nuclear fuel swap deal that could ease the international standoff over the country's disputed nuclear program and deflate a US-led push for tougher sanctions. The deal was reached in talks with Brazil and Turkey, a new group of mediators in the Iranian nuclear equation, but it is nearly identical to the UN-drafted plan Washington's been pushing Tehran to accept for six months.

Iran will send most of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey, where it'll be refined into fuel for a medical research reactor. Turkey's foreign minister said the deal meant Iran was willing to "open a constructive road," and that there "is no ground left for more sanctions or pressure." The US had no comment, but Germany greeted the news with caution, saying the key question was whether Iran suspends enrichment of nuclear material at home.