Russian FM: Iran should halt centrifuge production
Lavrov tells CNN that if Tehran halts production, new sanctions won't be adopted; message should be sent that this "is not about regime change."
By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
September 26, 2011 15:12
2 minute read.
Iranian President Ahmadinejad at nuclear facility 311 (R).
(photo credit: Ho New / Reuters)
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on Iran to take a first step and
"freez[e] the production of centrifuges," saying that such a step would
prevent fresh sanctions against it."We
have not received a complete and official plan offered by Russia for
Iran's nuclear issue," Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin
Mehmanparast was cited as saying by the ISNA news agency.
If Iran makes that first
step, Lavrov said in a CNN interview Sunday, Russia won't "adopt new
sanctions, neither in the Security Council nor unilaterally."
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that the only way to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue is through
negotiations, he added, "I believe that if Iran gets a very clear
message [that this] is not about regime change but about
non-proliferation issues, I believe we have a chance to start these
Iran welcomed last month a Russian attempt to revive talks with six world powers that are concerned about the its uranium enrichment program, a potential pathway to nuclear weapons, but was vague about what the agenda should be.
After meeting Russian Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev, his
Iranian counterpart said a proposal by Moscow, details of which have not
been made public, could be used to re-launch the talks that stalled in
"Our Russian friends' suggestion could be a basis for starting talks for
regional and international cooperation especially in the field of
peaceful nuclear activities," Saeed Jalili, secretary general of Iran's
National Security Council, told state broadcaster IRIB.
Jalili's general remarks gave no indication Iran was now prepared,
unlike previously, to address what the powers see as the crucial concern
-- its uranium enrichment drive, which UN inspectors say Iran has not
proven is for peaceful energy only.
Talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security
Council, the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France, plus
Germany (known as the EU3+3 or P5+1), in Istanbul in January foundered
with Iran insisting on having what it says is its right to produce
nuclear fuel recognized.
Since then, Iran has vowed to increase its enrichment activities and
shift its production of higher grade fuel to an underground bunker that
would be less vulnerable to a military strike.