Sunday, July 16, 2006

No plans for Russia to change stance on Iran - nuclear chief

RIA Novosti:
Russia's nuclear chief has denied foreign media reports that the country would sign an agreement on nuclear cooperation with the United States in exchange for altering its position on Iran.

"This is absolute nonsense. This issue has never been raised or discussed during talks," Sergei Kiriyenko told Russian television Saturday. READ MORE

Presidents Vladimir Putin and George Bush announced earlier Saturday that Russia and the U.S. were planning to sign an agreement on peaceful use of nuclear energy, transition to trade in the nuclear sphere on a commercial basis and global partnership in this field, including the establishment of international uranium enrichment centers.

Kiriyenko said Russia's cooperation with Iran was based on two principles: the right of Tehran as a member of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to develop civilian nuclear energy and Iranian guarantees that it would not attempt to create nuclear weapons.

The Islamic Republic has been accused by many countries of seeking to produce nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian energy program, but has denied the accusation, insisting that it only wants nuclear technology for power production.