Ex-minister Ivanov says Russia not playing double "game" on Iran
Russia is not playing a "double game" over Iran's controversial nuclear program, the former foreign minister said at an international nuclear conference on Tuesday.
Some Western states have accused Russia of a policy of double standards over Iran's nuclear program as Russia is building the Bushehr nuclear power plant on the eastern shore of the Persian Gulf and has also delivered the advanced Tor M-1 air defense missile systems to Iran, which were promptly deployed around its nuclear facilities.
"Russia has always been an active supporter of the existing mechanism [on the resolution of the Iranian nuclear problem]. Russia is not taking any parallel initiatives or steps in that respect," Igor Ivanov told reporters after a meeting of the Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe.
The former minister reiterated that Russia held a common view on the "Iranian dossier" with other participants at the talks within the framework of the Iran Six group of world powers, which also includes the U.S., China, France, Great Britain and Germany.
According to Ivanov, the Iranian nuclear issue could be solved only through involving Tehran in the resolution of other urgent global problems, by diplomatic means rather than the use of force.
"The more actively we involve Iran in the resolution of many global problems, and we have to admit that Iran is an active regional player, the closer we get in solving its nuclear problem," Ivanov said.
At the same time, he urged Iran to show more transparency and willingness to cooperate with other countries and international organizations to ease the concerns of the global community over the true nature of Tehran's uranium enrichment.
"Iran must be more open with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN and other organizations and countries, which never meant to infringe on Iran's legitimate rights or to threaten the country in any way," Ivanov said.
Meanwhile, Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog, admitted in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, published on December 6, that international efforts to halt Iranian nuclear activity had been futile.
Tehran is under three sets of relatively mild UN Security Council sanctions over its nuclear program, but over the past five years has steadily advanced with its controversial nuclear program.
The IAEA reported last month that Iran now has more than 5,000 uranium enrichment centrifuges in operation.
Western powers led by the United States, along with Israel, accuse Tehran of attempting to develop nuclear weapons, while Iran says it needs nuclear power for electricity generation only.