Iran nukes: Russia guided by national interest
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Last Updated: Thursday, May 27, 2010, 21:22
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 agencies.

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.


First Published: Thursday, May 27, 2010, 21:22

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