There is no substitute for IAEA deal with Iran: Germany

17th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

The German government said Monday that nothing could replace a deal between Iran and the UN's nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, on its disputed nuclear programme in heading off new sanctions against Tehran.

"It of course remains important that Iran and the IAEA reach an accord," said deputy government spokesman Christoph Steegmans when asked whether an Iranian agreement to send its nuclear fuel to Turkey for enrichment would avert fresh UN sanctions.

"That cannot be replaced by an accord with other countries."

Steegmans said at a regular press conference that Berlin wanted to obtain more information about the deal and only then could it assess the agreement.

Under the deal, Iran would ship 1,200 kilogrammes (2,640 pounds) of low-enriched uranium to Turkey in return for fuel for a reactor in Tehran that makes radioisotopes for cancer treatment.

Foreign ministry spokesman Andreas Peschke called on Iran to fulfil its obligations to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency and establish more "transparency" on its nuclear programme.

Iran is already under three sets of UN sanctions for refusing to halt its uranium enrichment, which the West fears hides a covert nuclear weapons programme.

Tehran insists it will go ahead with enrichment, even after signing the fuel deal.

The accord, which was co-brokered by Brazil, was seen as a possible breakthrough in protracted efforts to convince Iran to abandon such sensitive nuclear work.

Germany is one of six countries spearheading these efforts.

© 2010 AFP

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