ANKARA (Xinhua)–Turkey has offered Iran a new solution on behalf of the international community to resolve a nuclear standoff between Tehran and the West, the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News reported Monday.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Saturday on a flight to Spain that Turkey has negotiated with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran and the United States and developed a new formula to mend rifts over a draft plan to diffuse the Iranian nuclear issue.
A draft agreement, presented earlier by chief of the IAEA Mohamed El-Baradei, has called for shipping most of Iran’s existing low-grade enriched uranium to Russia and France to be processed into fuel rods with a purity of 20 percent as the fuel for Tehran’s research reactor.
The United States, Russia and France have approved the draft deal, but Iran wants amendments and more talks over the issue.
Iran has said the 20 percent enriched uranium should be delivered first before it takes action while the IAEA demands just the opposite, said Davutoglu.
He told Hurriyet that Turkey’s new proposal aims to solve that disagreement but didn’t give further details, saying they are waiting for a response from Tehran.
Meanwhile, Davutoglu reaffirmed Turkey’s willingness to store Iran’s low-grade enriched uranium, noting that Turkey has the necessary technology to do that.
Iran is under U.S. and UN sanctions over its nuclear program, which the West fears will be used by Tehran to develop nuclear weapons, but Tehran defends its right to peacefully use the energy.
The United States and Russia have warned of more sanctions if Iran fails to respond positively to the IAEA offer by the end of the year.
Turkey has urged for a solution to the issue through diplomatic means and dialogue and said it’s willing to mediate between Iran and the West.
Davutoglu reiterated Turkey’s objection to economic sanctions against Iran, saying they would damage neighboring countries as much as they damage Iran.
“We are not favoring Iran when we say we are against the sanctions. We would act the same way for any neighbor of ours: Greece, Georgia, even Israel,” said Davutoglu.