Western Europe kept the pressure on Tehran Monday to reach an agreement with the UN over its nuclear works or face further sanctions, following the nuclear deal between Iran, Turkey and Brazil. Earlier, Iran inked an agreement with Turkey and Brazil to ship 1,200 kilogrammes of its low enriched uranium to Turkey for a later swap for nuclear reactor fuel.
However, Germany, France and Western diplomats close to the UN atomic watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), were unfazed by the new deal. According to AFP, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said that the IAEA must be the first body to respond to Iran's agreement to send its nuclear fuel to Turkey for enrichment.
Similarly, the German government said nothing could replace a deal between Iran and the IAEA. "It of course remains important that Iran and the IAEA reach an accord," said deputy government spokesman Christoph Steegmans, adding, "That cannot be replaced by an accord with other countries."
A nuclear fuel swap deal signed by Iran "does not answer all of the concerns" raised by Tehran's nuclear programme, the office of EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said. "If this reported agreement delivers... of course we welcome such a move," a spokesman for Ashton was quoted as saying by AFP.