Russia not engaged in double-dealing around Iranian n-problem

There are no grounds to say that Russia is engaged in double-dealing with the situation around settling the Iranian nuclear problem. This statement was made on Tuesday by former Russian foreign minister and ex-secretary of the Russian Security Council Igor Ivanov at a meeting in Moscow of the supervisory council of the Luxembourg Forum.

From the very outset, Russia "favoured forming a mechanism for settling the situation around the Iranian nuclear programme", he said. Apart from the present negotiation mechanism, including the US, China and Russia, we do not make any parallel initiatives and actions".

"Russia has always stressed that a success at the talks can be reached only though unity of the permanent Five at the UN Security Council and the permanent participants in the negotiation process," Ivanov emphasised.

He noted at the same time "this does not preclude differences of tactical nature". "For instance I believe that the more active the Islamic Republic is involved in resolving international problems, since it is an active regional player, the easier it will be to settle nuclear problems with Iran," he added.

"I'd like to assure you again that Russia acts from common positions on the Iranian nuclear problem together with other members of the negotiation process, in line with the UN Security Council and the IAEA," Ivanov noted. "Therefore, there are no grounds to say that Russia is engaged in double-dealing with Iran."

"Russia is against a force solution of the Iranian nuclear problem," Ivanov said. "But it calls on the Iranian authorities to be more active in conducting the dialogue with the international community on this question." He noted at the same time that Russia does not want to infringe on Tehran's interests.

The Luxembourg Forum is an international non-government organisation on preventing a nuclear disaster. The meeting agenda provides both for a debate on further areas of the forum's activities as well as for discussions on problems of disarmament and prospects for their settlement.

The meeting is attended by many leading world and Russian specialists in the non-proliferation sphere, including Professor of Stanford University and former US Defence Minister William Perry, vice-president of the Russian Academy of Sciences Nikolai Laverov and head of the Centre for International Security of the Institute for International Economy and International Relationships of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexei Arbatov.