Russian President asks Iran to cooperate with IAEA

World powers, including the US, accuse Iran of developing nuclear weapons.

Moscow: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday asked Iran to "find courage" to begin "full-blooded" cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over its controversial atomic programme.

"Iran must find courage and begin full-blooded cooperation with IAEA and the international community," Medvedev said in a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg.

"In spite of all the national reasons, those in Tehran must remember that they do not live in vacuum and must understand the full measure of their responsibility, which Iran has before international community," he said.

For a long time, Iran is involved in nuclear research and in principle by the expert community has been included into the category of nations close to the `threshold` countries, Medvedev was quoted as saying by ITAR-TASS.

Speaking at the conference of top Russian diplomats last week, Medvedev had said Tehran was close to acquiring nuclear weapons potential and was behaving "not in the best way".

World powers, including the US and UK, accuse Iran of developing nuclear weapons, but Tehran says its nuclear programme is peaceful.

At a news conference here yesterday, Moscow`s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin had said there is still cause for concern about Iran`s nuclear program as signals from the Islamic Republic have been far from encouraging.

"The signals I have heard from Iran are not encouraging. Iran continues to set out terms, make excuses and say that it will persist in enriching uranium to 20 percent level," Churkin had said.


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