The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia urges Iran Six to grant security guarantees for Tehran

RIA Novosti

14/05/2008 14:29 YEKATERINBURG, May 14 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's foreign minister said on Wednesday the Iran Six group of negotiators on Tehran's nuclear problem should provide Iran with security guarantees to persuade the country to freeze uranium enrichment.

"I believe that the Iran Six could take the next step and put specific proposals on the negotiating table, giving Iran security guarantees and ensuring it the more distinguished place that it deserves at peace negotiations on the situation in the Middle East," Sergei Lavrov said after meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg.

The six nations negotiating with Iran on its controversial nuclear program comprise the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - Russia, the United States, China, Britain, France - and Germany.

"Unfortunately, not all Iran Six mediators are ready" for this new approach to negotiations with Iran, Lavrov said.

"When some of the mediators ignore a common approach and begin taking unilateral steps... it clearly undermines our mutual efforts to resolve the existing situation through peaceful means."

Russia earlier criticized statements made by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband after Iran Six talks in London on May 2, saying they did not reflect the opinion of all the participants.

On May 5, Lavrov accused some of his other colleagues of distorting the results of the talks in the British capital.

"Some of my colleagues at the negotiations in London surprised trying to say that we agreed on some tougher stance in relations with Iran," Lavrov said. "Moscow has made it clear already that this is an absolute distortion of what was achieved in London."

During the May 2 talks in London, the six international mediators agreed to offer new incentives to Tehran in order to persuade it to halt its nuclear programs.

However, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said no incentives offered by the West would persuade Iran to abandon its right to peaceful nuclear technology.

Iran has defied three rounds of relatively mild UN Security Council sanctions imposed over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment. The Islamic Republic has also refused to continue talks with the Iran Six, and said it would negotiate only with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations' nuclear watchdog.

Tehran has recently submitted to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana "an array of its own proposals" on the resolution of outstanding international problems, including the long-running dispute over its nuclear program.

Iranian authorities have yet to disclose the nature of their new proposals, but said they would be made public soon.

Russia has consistently supported Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy, and has almost completed the country's first nuclear power plant in Bushehr.

Join the mailing list

One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias