Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Russia will not join ultimatums over Iran nuclear issue: Putin

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

"nuclear iran"--Russia will not join any ultimatums over the problem of nuclear proliferation, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday in a thinly veiled reference to US-led pressure on Iran.

“We do not intend to join any sort of ultimatum, which only pushes the situation into a dead end, striking a blow against the authority of the UN Security Council,” Putin told Russian diplomats in Moscow in the presence of journalists. “I am convinced that dialogue and not isolation of one or another state is what leads to resolution of crises. In the sphere of non-proliferation we consider it effective to work on the political-diplomatic level and to search for compromises on the basis of international law,” Putin said.

Russia, a key economic ally of Iran, has consistently resisted Western pressure in the current international impasse over US and European claims that Tehran is using a Russia-backed civilian nuclear programme to mask a secret bomb-making project.

Russia along with the other four permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany are waiting for an Iranian response to offer of talks on trade and other benefits in return for guarantees Iran will not develop atomic weapons.

The United States has not ruled out seeking UN sanctions or even military action should Iran refuse the talks, which come with the precondition that it must first suspend uranium enrichment.

US President George W Bush has said that Tehran has “weeks and not months” to accept the offer and warned that the UN Security Council would act if Iran did not comply.

Last week, Bush warned Iran faced “progressively stronger political and economic sanctions” if it refused the offer.

Tehran has been asked to reply to the proposal – drawn up by Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States – by the end of the month, although President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said it would take until August 22 to give a formal answer.

But Iran appears to still reject the key condition in the package – a full and verified suspension of uranium enrichment – and continues to call for negotiations devoid of any “preconditions”.
source: AFP
posted by ali ghannadi-irannuk


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