Iran nukes: Russia guided by national interest

Russia on Thursday rejected Prez Ahmadinejad`s statement on its policy on Tehran`s nuclear programme.

Moscow: Russia on Thursday rejected President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad`s statement on its policy on Tehran`s
nuclear programme, qualifying it as "emotional", and said
Moscow is guided by its own national interest on the issue.

Russia is pursuing an independent policy vis-a-vis
Iran and its stance on Tehran`s nuclear programme was neither
pro-US nor pro-Iranian, a top Kremlin official said.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today said Moscow sees
such statements as `emotional`.

"If we translate the true meaning of President
Ahmadinejad`s words, he was telling what Russia should do and
in the given situation should not tow others` line.

We are exactly doing this, Russia is guided only by
its national interests, interests of its security, economy and
development," Lavrov said a news conference.

In his statement on Wednesday the Iranian leader had
expressed misgivings about President Dmitry Medvedev`s policy
on Tehran`s nuclear issue.

"Justifying the behaviour of Mr. Medvedev today has
become very difficult. The Iranian nation doesn`t know whether
[Russians] ultimately are friends, whether they stand by us or
are after other things," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by

Earlier yesterday Kremlin foreign policy aide Sergei
Prikhodko had qualified Ahmadinejad`s statement as `political
extremism and demagoguery`.

Rejecting Ahmadinejad`s claims Prikhodko had said
Russia`s position is "specifically Russian, it reflects the
interests of all Russia`s people, and therefore can be neither
pro-American nor pro-Iranian."

Lavrov, however, backed the tripartite deal struck
by Iran, Turkey and Brazil on May 17 entailing the transfer to
Turkey Iran`s low enriched uranium in return for nuclear fuel
for its research reactor.

"The scheme meets the requirements for a peaceful
resolution of Iran`s nuclear issue, that is why we will do
everything possible to implement it," Lavrov said.

He, however, expressed doubt that Iran would
strictly comply by the deal.

"If Iran strictly abides by its obligations, Russia
will actively support the scheme proposed by Brazil and
Turkey," Lavrov said.

Earlier, during his Kiev visit cautiously welcoming
the tripartite deal President Medvedev had called it a step in
the right direction, but fails to resolve the global
community`s concerns over Tehran`s enrichment activities.


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