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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian official: Iran's right to use nuclear agency must be recognized

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Moscow, Aug 18, IRNA
Russian Official-Iran-Nuclear
A high ranking Kremlin official emphasized here Wednesday, "Iran's right to take advantage of nuclear power for peaceful purposes must be internationally recognized."
Speaking to his country's official Itar-Tass news agency, the Russian official who spoke on condition of anonymity added, "Russia believes it is appropriate for the international community to recognize Iran's right to continue its nuclear programs, since that would solve the current crisis and save unnecessary problems." He meanwhile reiterated, "Russia is opposed to proliferation of nuclear weapons in the world, particularly in the Middle East and the Near East regions, that are quite crisis-prone."
The Kremlin official reiterated, "Russia pursues its nuclear cooperation with Iran based on the above mentioned guidelines." He said, "We believe it is necessary to seek a logical solution to the problem in which the Iranian nation's legal right to take advantage of nuclear energy would be recognized, in accordance with all internationally approved protocols and regulations."
Meanwhile, the Russian Federation's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, too, issued a communique here Wednesday, announcing Moscow opposition to resorting to force in order to solve the ongoing crisis regarding Iran's peaceful nuclear programs.

Also senior Iranian officials warned the European Union Wednesday to stop pressuring the Islamic republic to limit its nuclear activities and setting conditions for future negotiations.

"After restarting the activities at Isfahan, we stress that we should have the continuation of negotiations without any
preconditions," said Manouchehr Mottaki, nominated as Iran's new foreign minister by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iran's resuming of its uranium ore conversion at a facility near Isfahan due to EU3's obvious violations of its commitments towards Iran, and their delayed presentation of an insulting, unacceptable proposal on behalf of the EU has led to strong verbal Western reactions and Iran's rightful defiance.

The step ended a nine-month freeze agreed during talks with Britain, France and Germany -- who have been trying to convince Iran to abandon atomic energy technology that could also provide it with the capability to build a bomb.

But Mottaki told the student news agency ISNA that "Iran's transparent, logical and legal handling (should) convince the European side to join negotiations."
A similar warning was made by the deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Mohammad Saidi.

"The rougher and faster these countries make the game, the more decisive we become to operate the rest of our nuclear facilities," he told ISNA.

But Iran has so far maintained its suspension of uranium enrichment at its Natanz facility.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has called on Iran to halt all nuclear fuel cycle work and the UN watchdog is to report September 3 on Tehran's compliance with international safeguards.

Iran has refused to backtrack, despite the risk of being referred to the UN Security Council.

"Legally the IAEA is not in a position to talk about a violation," Saidi said, calling on the Europeans to deal with Iran's nuclear issue "logically and not to jeopardize and agitate the region."
"Despite the possibility of another resolution in the September session of the (IAEA) board of governors to call on Iran for re-suspension of the Isfahan installations, we will definitely not accept such a call," he said.

Russia meanwhile cautioned the United States against considering the use of force to contain Iran's nuclear programs, saying this would be "dangerous" and unleash "serious consequences."
"We consider that it would be counter-productive and dangerous to use force, the serious consequences of which would be barely predictable," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement clearly aimed at US President George W. Bush's recent assertion that force is an option.

The statement urged that the crisis over Iran's insistence on producing its own nuclear fuel be resolved "exclusively through expert consultations and diplomatic negotiations."
The Russian position echoes a call by German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder over the weekend for military force to be ruled out as an option in Iran, saying it was "extremely dangerous."
On Friday, Bush refused to rule out military action, saying: "All options are on the table."
Russia is building a nuclear power station in Iran and is to supply the plant's nuclear fuel, but says it does want Iran to develop any military capability.



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