Thursday, May 11, 2006

Russia not to hold talks on joint venture with Iran for enrichment

Peoples Daily Online:
There is no need to hold talks with Iran on a joint venture to enrich uranium, head of the Russian Atomic Energy Agency Sergei Kiriyenko said in Moscow on Wednesday.

Russia's proposal "remains in force, but now there is no need to discuss it," Kiriyenko was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying. READ MORE

"Now we're holding diplomatic talks. We have no technical problems with Iran. Additional talks on the joint venture are not being held. There is no need," he said.

Kiriyenko recalled that Russia's proposal "was part of the bilateral package agreement. A decision to this effect was taken to ease tension and prevent uranium enrichment in Iran."

At the same time, he stressed "our proposal remains in force because the joint venture will help settle the situation."

Kiriyenko pointed out "Russia's position remained unchanged -- all countries have the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, but the international community should ban the proliferation of nuclear technologies."

Earlier in the day, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia is confident that "the world community's goal is to keep in effect the nonproliferation regime."

"Russia's stand on Iran's nuclear dossier remains definite and unchanged," he said.

"At the six-party talks the draft resolution on Iran submitted by France, Germany and Great Britain to the UN Security Council was not discussed," Lavrov said.

The European troika offered the draft resolution and Russia did not put forward any new ideas, he said.

If Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency cooperate, the settlement of the nuclear problem will be undoubtedly possible, Lavrov said.