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U.S., France, Russia Respond To Iran Fuel Swap Deal

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad
The United States, France, and Russia have formally responded to a proposal for Iran to send some of its nuclear material to Turkey in return for atomic fuel.

The response came hours before the UN Security Council was scheduled to vote on a new round of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

Diplomats said the response was conveyed to Iran through the International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano in Vienna.

The plan, under which Iran would send part of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey in return for nuclear fuel for a research reactor, was brokered by Turkey and Brazil last month.

Western powers have said the plan does not address their concerns about Iran's nuclear program, which they fear is aimed at producing weapons. Iran denies this.

Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad on June 8 said Iran will reject any further talks if the resolution is passed and that the fuel swap deal was an opportunity that "will not be repeated."

compiled from agency reports