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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian proposals to Iran still on table - defense minister

RIA Novosti

31/05/2006 12:42


BAKU, May 31 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's offers to help solve the long-running controversy around Iran's nuclear program are still on the negotiating table, the Russian defense minister said Wednesday.

Sergei Ivanov, who is also Russia's deputy prime minister, said all countries had the right to use scientific and technical progress, but under strict international control.

"Russia has expressed its opinion on this issue: On the one hand, we believe that every country should be able to use the advantages of the nuclear energy industry for peaceful purposes, but on the other hand, we stand for strict and transparent control over proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," Ivanov said at a meeting of defense ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States, a loose association of former Soviet republics, in Azerbaijan's capital, Baku.

He also said Russia had put forward a number of proposals and initiatives aimed at resolving the Iranian nuclear crisis, and that the proposals had had a positive response worldwide.

Russia has proposed setting up a joint venture to enrich uranium for Iran on Russian soil and to construct new-technology reactors in a move to dispel suspicions that Iran was developing nuclear weapons.

Iran has come under heavy international pressure to re-impose a moratorium on its nuclear research program, which some countries say is being used as cover to develop a nuclear bomb. The Islamic Republic has vehemently denied the allegations, and says it is interested only in nuclear power for civilian purposes.

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