Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Russian MP Lashes Out at Iran Over "Flexing Muscles"

The chairman of the Russian State Duma (lower chamber of parliament) International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachyov has said that the latest demonstration of military force by Iran was inappropriate, RIA Novosti reported.

I think that such a demonstration of force by Tehran is not quite appropriate now, as nobody, not even the most radical opponents of Iran’s nuclear programme in the U.S., is discussing the use of force, even hypothetically,” Kosachyov said.

His comments followed the Iran’s testing of a new Fajr-3 missile during a military exercise in the Persian Gulf on April 2.

Such actions by Iran are counter-productive and do not create the necessary atmosphere of trust at consultations and talks about the Iranian nuclear programme, the parliamentarian said.

The technical and tactical characteristics of the Iranian missile remain unknown, Kosachyov indicated.So far we have nothing except the assertion by the Iranian military and by politicians that it is superior to other similar missiles, but I see no reason to believe these statements,” he said. READ MORE

Kosachyov believes that the missile test and the discussions on Iran’s nuclear programme by the international community are connected.

It is obvious that Tehran is flexing its muscles to forestall any discussion of a possible use of force against Iran,he said.

Kosachyov also thinks that Iran should give more attention to the negotiations on setting up a joint venture for uranium enrichment with Russia instead of demonstrating force.

I would be happy if Tehran showed more flexibility on the well-known Russian offer of joint uranium enrichment instead of staking everything on the demonstration of new kinds of arms,” he said.