Thursday, March 16, 2006

No need for Russian nuke bargain: Iran's Asefi

Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Russia is not supposed to bargain over Iran's nuclear case in the UN Security Council.

"The Russian officials announced they are not going to make a deal on Iran's case. We hope they will fulfill their promise," Asefi told domestic and foreign reporters, IRNA reported. READ MORE

"In talks held with Russian officials on Tuesday, they stressed that Iran's case should be settled within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and that harsh measures should be avoided," he said.

The spokesman noted that Iran is holding negotiations with Russia, China and Europe and will continue talks until they yield a desirable result.

He referred to differences between the UNSC member-states on Iran's nuclear case, adding that the United States is trying to heap pressure on other member-states.

Asefi said the United States should first adopt its stance on the possibility of Iran-US talks and "Iran will then announce its conditions for talks with Washington".

Asked whether Iran would reject any resolution adopted by the UNSC, he said, "The council may announce that Iran's nuclear case should be discussed at the International Atomic Energy Agency. Iran will not reject such a stance. Members of the Security Council and the IAEA Board of Governors should consider support for settlement of Iran's case at the IAEA as support for the credibility of an international organization and for multilateralism."

Meanwhile, Asefi termed as "nonsense" the recent statement by British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw that Iran has taken the wrong path.

Asefi said he found no rational connection in Straw's speech and expressed regret that a senior British diplomat could made such a remark.