Iran-Moscow talks on Bushehr nuclear plant postponed
Iran-Russia, Politics, 3/20/2007
The visiting Russian delegation temporarily wrapped up talks on Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant due to the Iranian New Year holidays and left Tehran today.
The spokeswoman for the Russian Atom Stroi Export Co. Irina Yesipova told IRNA that the talks on the issue will resume after the New Year holidays.
The Washington Post reported today that some said that Russia has pulled out its engineers from Iran as Russian pressure on Iran to force a halt to Iran's own nuclear enrichment, which if true, seems to supports Iran's claim for the need to enrich its own fuel supply and not be dependednt on others that would use Iran dependence on nuclear fuel to place political pressures on it. However, the same report said the reason for the departure of the engineers, according to the Russians, relates to late payment by Iran to Russia, and some said the delays are due to normal work-shift roations.
Russia is many years in completing this project, and may have decided to use the completion of the project as a pressure point against Iran, without doing so directly, as direct pressure may be viewed by the Russians as leading to a negative portrayal of Russia as an unreliable supplier to non-aligned and developing countries, who once viewed Russia as counterweight to the US, but now may view Russia as simply a dependent state of the West, because of Russia's financial or economic needs from the West.
Russia, also, may have its own interest in not seeing a country like Iran, Muslim and close to it, to have such nuclear capabilities, even if they are only civil, since the West, and in particular the US, has taken to warn the Russians and Europeans of the "potential" threats that can possibly exist from a nuclear Iran; while at the same time, the missile shield the US would like permission to place in some European countries, is being promoted as protection from the Russians, and also, against what is portrayed as being against other possible threats such from the Iranians.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the US position complicates the settlement of Iran's nuclear problem.
Speaking at the jubilee session of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy on Saturday, Lavrov said, "The considerable part of the problem like as Korea's one is linked to the US unwillingness to normalize relations with Tehran on the basis of the generally recognised principles."
Elsewhere in his remarks, Lavrov said the West is losing its monopoly on globalisation.
"The West "is losing its monopoly on globalisation processes."
"New forces emerge and this gives a signal on how to cope with the problem of controllability in the world. The use of force and unilateral reaction lead to intensifying conflicts in world politics," the minister said.
Lavrov said Russia is ready to help solve the problems, which were unilaterally begun, including the situation in Iraq.
China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said today that his country's stance on Iran's nuclear issue is based on solving it peacefully.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman made the statement in a press conference, adding that this has been repeatedly declared by his country.
Meanwhile, he underlined that China is against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and is committed to the relevant international treaties. The spokesman stressed that his country will continue its talks in this regard with other parties involved in the issue to call for solving it through peaceful ways, namely negotiation.
Iran's former commerce minister Mohammad Shariatmadari on Monday proposed an Asian solution, involving Japan and China, to Iran's nuclear problem. "Our stance is based on the Japanese playing a more serious role in the case and in regional issues, especially in those concerning Asia.
As a country seeking the UNSC membership, Japan should play its role in restoration of peace and stability to the world, especially Asia, he added.
He added that Iran had informed Japan that it can play greater role in Iran's nuclear case.
Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak Sunday in an interview with the Egyptian daily Roseal-Yousuf said failure to resolve differences in opinion over Iran's nuclear case would raise insecurity in the Persian Gulf region. He said that security in the Persian Gulf was indispensably linked to security in the Middle East, adding that the region has had enough of crises.
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki today welcomed the idea of trilateral Iran-5+1 Group-UNSC talks to end the discords on the country's nuclear activities for peaceful purposes.
He added that in his negotiations with South African President Thabo Mbeki, the latest developments on the country's nuclear issue and the decision making trend at the United Nations Security Council were discussed.
South Africa has become a non-permanent member of the UNSC since the beginning of 2007 and is currently its rotating chairman.
Turning to South Africa's proposal to the 5+1 group for revision of the text of the new resolution on Iran, he said, "During my talks with the South African president, the idea of trilateral talks among Iran, head of UNSC and representative of the 5+1 group was examined." Mottaki welcomed such talks and underlined that restoration of Iran's inalienable right and elimination of concerns over Iran's peaceful nuclear activities are the two sides of a coin.
"Under no condition, will Iran give up its right to access nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, but is committed to continue talks to come up with a solution," he said.
He referred to the fact that the text proposed by the 5+1 group contains a great number of mistakes and said some UNSC member states, such as Indonesia and South Africa call for dealing with Iran's nuclear issue separately and independent from other problems.
Mottaki said that South Africa proposed a text to the UNSC today and called for revision of the content of the draft resolution on Iran which has been prepared by UNSC five permanent members plus Germany.
In general, South Africa considers the proposed text of 5+1 group contradictory to the UNSC basic policies for finding a solution to Iran's nuclear crisis and called for separating the issue from other matters.
According to Mottaki, a number of UNSC non-permanent member states, such as South Africa, have also called on the Security Council to take into consideration the reports of the UN nuclear watchdog chief, Mohamed ElBaradei, confirming that no deviation from peaceful path has been observed in Iran's nuclear programs.
"Besides, they believe that the measures to be taken by the UNSC should mainly be based on continuing talks to come up with a complete and peaceful solution to the issue," he added.
Iranian Ambassador to Paris Ali Ahani said that if the new resolution on Iran's nuclear issue is approved at the UN Security Council, a difficult and more complex situation will be expected. He added that otherwise, suitable formulas exist for solving it.
The Iranian ambassador made the statement at a gathering of the students of Paris Institute of Political Sciences majoring in international relations on Monday.
"There are two significant points on Iran's nuclear issue, the recognition of Iran's right to access nuclear technology for peaceful purposes based on NPT and providing the warrant that Iran's nuclear program will not deviate from peaceful path," he added.
Ahani said that to materialize these two points there is no need for conflict and confrontation, adding that it can rather be settled through talks.
"Iran's proposal for establishment of a nuclear consortium under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was to the same end," he said.
Regarding the concerns over Iran's deviation from peaceful nuclear path, he said, "This is irrational, given that on the one hand some countries, which are not even NPT members, proceed with their nuclear activities and take any measure they wish, and on the other, as an NPT member, Iran is deprived of its most inalienable right based on NPT."
Iranian government Spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham said President Ahmadi-Nejad's trip to New York depends on the United Nations Security Council's meeting. Elham added, "If the meeting is held, the president will definitely be in New York to attend it." President Ahmadi-Nejad is to attend UNSC meeting to defend Iran's nuclear rights when the Council will be discussing a resolution on Iran's nuclear activities.
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