MOSCOW, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Russia criticized on Tuesday the release of information in a UN nuclear agency report on Iran's nuclear program, saying it would reduce hopes for dialogue with Tehran and suggesting it was aimed to scuttle the chances for a diplomatic solution.
"We have serious doubts about the justification for steps to reveal contents of the report to a broad public, primarily because it is precisely now that certain chances for the renewal of dialogue between the 'sextet' of international mediators and Tehran have begun to appear," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
It said time was needed to study the report and determine whether it contained new evidence of a military element in Iran's nuclear program or was nothing but "the intentional -- and counterproductive -- whipping up of emotions".
In its most detailed report pointing to military dimensions to Tehran's nuclear program, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran has worked on developing a nuclear weapon design and other research and testing relevant for such arms.
Turning to reports that Iran received assistance form a former Soviet weapons scientist to overcome technical hurdles in mastering the critical steps needed to build nuclear weapons, the Foreign Ministry said Russia had long ago provided the IAEA with "all the necessary clarifications" on the issue and that recent reports contained nothing new.