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Iran Seeks Talks On Nuke Fuel Swap

Iran plans to hold talks with all members of the UN Security Council in an effort to break a deadlock over a planned uranium exchange deal.

Iran's Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki said today that "In the coming days, we have plans to have direct talks with 14 members of the Security Council. He said Iran will have "one (set of) indirect talks with a member," in apparent reference to the United States.

Mottaki said the talks will focus on the fuel exchange deal and will be conducted by Iran's missions in those countries.

According to a plan brokered in October by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the world's nuclear watchdog, Iran's low-enriched uranium was to be exported to Russia for further enrichment and then to France for processing into fuel for a Tehran medical reactor.

At the time, Tehran said it was prepared either to buy the more highly-enriched uranium outright or exchange its own for more highly enriched uranium if the swap took place on Iranian soil.

Meanwhile, a two-day nuclear conference in Tehran closed today with a call for international acknowledgement of the nuclear rights of all countries having signed the Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The final declaration will be sent to United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon.

The Tehran conference, titled "Nuclear Energy for All, Nuclear Weapons for No One", was attended by 10 foreign ministers - including Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Armenia - 14 deputy foreign ministers - including Turkey - and nuclear experts from 60 countries.

China was represented at the conference by a low-ranking foreign ministry official and Russia by a deputy minister.

compiled from agency reports