Vienna, Asharq Al-Awsat- International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] official spokesman Gill Tudor announced that the IAEA is waiting for “written notification” of Iran’s deal with Brazil and Turkey, which will see Tehran send some of its low-riched uranium abroad in exchange for higher-grade uranium to be used in a research reactor. Tudor said that the IAEA had been informed of the agreement on Monday, but that it is waiting for a written notification from Iran with regards to the terms of this agreement and Iran’s commitment to it.
Informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the reaction within the IAEA is that this agreement represents a significant step, but it is not yet clear whether this will be enough to allow Iran to emerge from the crisis.
According to Tudor, the IAEA will not begin to work as an intermediary with regards to completing this agreement until it receives written notification from Iran confirming it’s commitment to the agreement. After this, the IAEA will begin to bring together all the parties involved, which are Iran and the western countries who have previously shown a willingness to supply Iran with nuclear fuel, and this includes Russia, France, and the US. The IAEA will bring together all of these parties in order to discuss the terms of the agreement and how this fuel exchange will be implemented. It may take some time for the IAEA to consult with these countries individually and collectively on the proposed agreement.
Answering an Asharq Al-Awsat question about the possibility of western countries refusing to implement what they agreed upon due to new developments in Iran, more than one [IAEA] source said that they expect the consultations to face difficulties, and that the IAEA is still waiting for details of this deal from Iran.
A diplomat close to the Iranian nuclear file also stressed that “everybody is waiting for Iran to take practical and official steps towards implanting its announced agreement to transfer enriched uranium abroad, which is something that Iran strongly rejected in the past.”
In response to questions about Turkey’s role as safe-keeper of Iran’s low-enriched uranium, and its ability to perform this role in light of the fact that Turkey is not a nuclear country and lacks nuclear capabilities, an IAEA expert played down these shortcomings, pointing out that storing nuclear material will not be a problem for Turkey as this will take place under IAEA supervision. The expert added that Turkey is a neutral party that is involved in order to solve the problem of Iran accepting shipping its uranium abroad.