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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Medvedev calls on Iran to cooperate over nuclear program

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, February 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev urged Tehran to cooperate with international organizations over its controversial nuclear program in an interview published on Thursday.

Iran's recent move to begin enriching uranium to 20% sparked a new wave of international criticism, with the U.S. leading the calls for new harsher sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Western powers suspect that the Iran's nuclear program is aimed at making weapons, while Tehran claims it needs enriched uranium for civilian energy purposes.

"We would like Iran to adjust its nuclear programs to the requirements of international organizations, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency," the Russian leader said in an interview with the Paris Match magazine ahead of his March 1-3 visit to France.

He also said that Iran's nuclear work should be "transparent."

Medvedev said Moscow shared global concerns over the Iranian nuclear program.

"I have spoken to every leader in the Middle East and in Europe, and it concerns everyone. Therefore, it concerns Russia as well. Iran is not far from us, it is our neighbor," he said.

"We are continuing talks both with major negotiators and Iran, and we are ready to make our contribution."

Iran has already rejected an IAEA plan under which the Islamic Republic was to ship out its low-enriched uranium to Russia for further enrichment and subsequently send it to France for processing into fuel rods.

Tehran has suggested it could consider a swap of its low-enriched uranium for 20%-enriched uranium, but that the exchange should be simultaneous and would have to take place on its own territory.

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