Livni fails to change Lavrov's stance on Iran

On visit to Moscow, FM says Iran's ideology borders on madness; Lavrov: Our stance is strong enough.

livni in russia 224.88 (photo credit: )
livni in russia 224.88
(photo credit: )
Differences of opinion between Israel and Russia over how to deal with Iran surfaced Thursday when Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni called on Russia to support stronger sanctions against Iran, and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying that Russia's current actions were sufficient. Livni, on a two-day visit to Russia, said at a speech at the Russian Foreign Ministry's Diplomatic Academy, "I would like to see the translation of the understanding that the world cannot afford an Iran with nuclear weapons into more effective sanctions at the United Nations Security Council." Russia holds veto power in the Security Council, and - along with China - is believed to be holding up efforts to bring a third round of sanctions to the Security Council against Iran. "Iran's destructive ideology is not connected to Israel, but to deep extremist religious foundations, " Livni said. "The combination of this ideology with attempts to obtain nuclear weapons, the violation of international treaties, and the fear of a domino effect on the region obligates the world to translate its declarations into actions. If the world does not deal with Iran, the situation and the rules of the game are likely to change." Lavrov, following a meeting with Livni later, was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying Moscow's stance was strong enough. "It is of paramount importance to enlarge the possibility of the International Atomic Energy Agency to work rather than narrow it," Lavrov said, according to Interfax. Livni also referred to Russia's construction of Iran's first nuclear power plant in Bushehr, and its shipment last month of the first batch of nuclear fuel for the plant. Livni told the audience that with the shipment of Russian nuclear fuel "the resumption of enrichment could serve only military purposes." "Iran's ideology borders on madness," she said. "It could have a domino effect on other states in the region that would strive to get nuclear technologies." AP contributed to this report.