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September 14, 2012

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Another funny fact: the original fuel rods delivered by the USA for the Teheran reactor were 90% enriched - bomb grade! For some reason, this was not considered a problem, as long as the Shah was in power...

Mohamed ElBaradei, "Age of Deception", pp. 312-3:

"After several months’ delay, Tehran was warming to the suggestion of a fuel swap that would feature interim storage of Iran’s LEU in Turkey. In April, Obama wrote directly to Brazilian president Lula da Silva — in a letter that was later leaked to the press — urging that any fuel swap include the measure of storing the fuel “in escrow” in Turkey. I remained in occasional contact with the foreign ministers of Brazil and Turkey, fully supporting this new arrangement.

On May 17, 2010, in a joint declaration, Iran, Brazil, and Turkey announced they had reached an agreement on a fuel swap. Iran would send twelve hundred kilograms of LEU to Turkey, in a single shipment, to be held in escrow while Iran’s research reactor fuel was being fabricated. It was a leap forward — particularly because it signaled the willingness of new players, Turkey and Brazil, to take an active role in resolving the diplomatic impasse.

But the very next day, in a masterstroke of diplomatic futility, the P-5 + 1 announced that they had reached agreement on a fourth Security Council resolution to escalate sanctions on Iran for not bringing its enrichment program to a halt. Hillary Clinton called the fuel swap deal with Turkey and Brazil a “transparent ploy” on Iran’s part to avoid new sanctions.

I was dumbstruck and, to say the least, grievously disappointed. Once again, as I noted in an interview with Jornal do Brasil,the West had refused to take yes for an answer. Brazil and Turkey were outraged. Ahmadinejad urged the United States to accept the fuel swap as a move toward openness and dialogue. At the Security Council, Brazil voted against the sanctions — to no avail. The Western powers once more had touched a solution with their fingertips, only to brush it away."

By interferring with Iran's purchase of this reactor fuel, the US itself violated the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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