RUSSIA: Russian and French foreign ministers discuss Iran's nuclear programme during talks in Moscow.
- Title: RUSSIA: Russian and French foreign ministers discuss Iran's nuclear programme during talks in Moscow.
- Date: 19th January 2006
- Summary: MEDIA LOOKING ON
- Reuters ID: LVA2OYO4VNJ4V6MR9625WA3AWOWM
- Duration: 00:00:05
- Topics: International Relations
- Story Text: Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday (January 19) urged the international community to follow the recommendations of the United Nation's nuclear watchdog, the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) in dealing with Iran and its nuclear programme.
The IAEA board will hold an emergency session on February 2 to decide whether to refer Iran to the council after its removal last week of UN seals on uranium enrichment equipment prompted Britain, France and Germany to halt two years of negotiations.
"Of course in this regard, what is important is the professional evaluation of the situation. Philippe is one thousand times correct when he refers to the position of the IAEA's [International Atomic Energy Agency] Director General El Baradei. At the emergency IAEA board meeting we [Russia] will base our position on the IAEA's evaluation of the situation and we hope that other countries will do the same," said Lavrov during a joint news briefing with French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy.
Douste-Blazy called on Iran to stop its nuclear research and return to negotiations.
"It's important to show Iran that they have to stop dangerous nuclear activity. Today there is no civil (nuclear) programme that can justify the restart of this dangerous nuclear activity. So, in Vienna, on February 2 and 3 we need to have a united international community ask Iran to clear their mind, to accept that they have to stop and to negotiate," the French foreign minister said.
Iran, which says its nuclear projects are for electricity, not bombs, is waging a high-stakes diplomatic battle with the West to head off any Security Council censure or sanctions.
Russia and China, both permanent Council members with veto powers like the United States, France and Britain, have big trade interests in Iran and are wary of any full-scale embargo, as are several developing nations with seats on the council or on the IAEA's 35-nation board of governors.
Iran has taken a defiant stance, aware of its muscle as the world's fourth biggest oil exporter in a volatile market.
Its top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, said his country was willing to discuss the West's concerns, but offered no hint that it would call off its nuclear fuel research -- technology that can be used for power stations or weapons.
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