Delegation returns with Russian suport to pressure Iran on nuke issue

January 20, 2006 03:37
2 minute read.

National Security Council head Giora Eiland and Atomic Energy Commission head Gideon Frank returned from Russia on Thursday after meeting with Russian National Security Adviser Igor Ivanov and the head of Russia's nuclear energy agency, Sergei Kiriyenko. Eiland and Frank were told that Russia would support a special meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency early next month to discuss sending the Iranian issue to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions, Israel Radio reported. The Russians reportedly said if Iran did not cooperate, then Russia would support referring the issue to the UN. Furthermore, according to the report, the Russians said they were opposed to Iranian demands to enrich uranium in Iran. Russia had proposed a compromise whereby the Iranians would enrich the uranium in Russia, so that there would be international supervision to ensure that it would not be used to produce nuclear weapons. In recent weeks Israel has increased diplomatic efforts to ensure that if the issue does get to the Security Council, Russia and China would not veto the use of economic sanctions. "Israel, as well as the entire world, should be concerned with the meeting between those two leaders and the cooperation between the two countries," Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said in an Israel Radio interview Thursday. Former Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter on Thursday said Israel should let the international community act to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons but, if pushed to the wall, should act against Iran. Israel was currently satisfied with the international community's efforts to stop Iran from enriching uranium but would need to act if it faced the real danger of Iran possessing nuclear weapons, he told Army Radio. "I don't think it is correct for Israel to act alone on a matter that really disturbs and engages the enlightened countries of the world, led by the United States," Dichter said. "If we feel that we are facing an imminent threat, Israel has the real insights and a bit of experience on how to deal with such matters a moment before someone tries to destroy us."

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