Facing a new round of economic sanctions, Iran has signed a deal, brokered by Brazil and Turkey, to ship its stockpile of low-enriched uranium to Turkey.
In exchange for the 1,200 kilograms, Iran will receive a smaller amount of highly-enriched uranium for a reactor used principally for medical research.
The arrangement could ease the international standoff over Iran's nuclear weapons program. For now, it would allay fears that Iran has enough enriched uranium to produce a nuclear weapon.
On The Guardian's website, Stephen Kinzer, a former reporter for The New York Times, says "the dramatic news from Tehran that a last-minute breakthrough may have been reached to avert a global crisis over Iran's nuclear programme is a highly positive development for everybody — except those in Washington and Tel Aviv who have been looking for an excuse to isolate or attack Iran."
"It also marks the debut of a highly promising new force on the world stage: the Turkey-Brazil axis," Kinzer continues. "...skillful negotiating by two world leaders undermined the view, widely accepted in Washington, that Iran could only be made to compromise if it was threatened with sanctions and repeated warnings that the US would consider "all options" to block further progress in its nuclear programme."
You can read the deal in its entirety here, on Julian Borger's global security blog.
According to reporter Gul Tuysuz, citing Iran's state-run media, the exchange could take place within a month. A piece on the deal, by NPR's Mike Shuster, will air on All Things Considered tonight.