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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warns West not to miss last Iran nuclear 'opportunity'

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said a possible Iran nuclear fuel swap is a one-time opportunity that could be squandered if the UN approves a fourth round of Iran sanctions this week.

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, during a news conference in Istanbul, Turkey, Tuesday. He said a nuclear swap deal brokered by Turkey and Brazil is a one-time opportunity that should not be missed.

Burhan Ozbilici/AP

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On the eve of an expected United Nations Security Council vote for new sanctions against Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned world powers against jeopardizing a one-time “opportunity” to engage Iran on its nuclear program.

“The US government and its allies are mistaken if they think they can brandish the stick of [a] resolution and then sit down to talk with us – such a thing will not happen,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said during a regional security summit taking place in Istanbul this week.

Still on the table, but with a muted response from the West so far, is a nuclear fuel swap deal brokered by Turkey and Brazil in Tehran on May 17. In the deal, Iran would send about half its homemade low-enriched uranium to Turkey, and receive higher-enriched reactor fuel from a third party, which has not yet been named.

IN PICTURES: Nuclear Weapons

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