TEHRAN, August 15 (Itar-Tass) — Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev arrived in Tehran on a two-day visit on Monday at the invitation of secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili.
According to IRNA News Agency, the upcoming talks will focus on the situation in the Middle East and North Africa due to the events in these areas this year and Iran’s nuclear programme.
The sides will discuss Russia’s initiative on taking return steps towards settling Iran’s nuclear problem. As a whole this initiative was greeted by Iran, the news agency quoted a parliamentary source as saying on Monday. According to the source, Tehran hopes to study the details of the Russian initiative, which is designed to revive the talks between Iran and the Sextet. This issue will be also in the focus of the upcoming visit to Moscow by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on August 16-18, the news agency reports.
During the talks, Iran intends to discuss a contract on supplies of the S-300 surface-to-air missile systems. Russia froze these supplies after the U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions on Iran last summer, deputy head of the parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission Ismail Kowsari told IRNA.
In his words, the parties will also discuss the upcoming launch of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, which is being built by Russian specialists.
Late in the day, Patrushev will hold talks with Jalili. On Tuesday, the secretary of the Russian Security Council is expected to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
In mid-2010 Iran came under a fourth set of UN sanctions, which Russia supported and were followed by tougher unilateral measures by the U.S. and the European Union. Russia won’t support new sanctions against Iran, Lavrov said.
“It’s a process which can only be successful if we count not on new sanctions and threats, but on negotiations,” Lavrov said.
The IAEA has been probing Iran’s nuclear work since 2003, when it was revealed that the government had hidden atomic research for two decades. The U.S. has accused Iran of seeking to build a nuclear weapon, while Iran says its program is for energy production. Russia built Iran’s first nuclear power plant, in Bushehr, and plans to start full operations at the facility “very soon,” Rosatom State Corporation said on May 26.
In July 2010 Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Iran was getting closer to achieving the capability to make nuclear weapons. Iran, the world’s fourth-largest oil producer, is rejecting U.N. demands to suspend enrichment of uranium, which can be used both for generating electricity and for making a nuclear warhead. Negotiations broke down in January after talks in Istanbul between Iran and the so-called Sextet, composed of Russia, China, France, Germany, Britain and the United States.
The six world powers, including Russia, China, the United States, Britain, France, and Germany, still disagree on the need for additional sanctions against Iran. In particular, China has announced that it is not the right time to take any new measures against Tehran, as members of the U.N. Security Council have already adopted five resolutions against that country. Iran is under three sets of U.N. Security Council sanctions for refusing to stop its nuclear programme.
Western countries insist that Iran develops its nuclear programme for military purposes, while Tehran claims it pursues purely civilian purposes.
In June 2008, the Sextet stated a set of proposals that “open up big opportunities for Iran’s broad cooperation with the international community in a number of areas, including nuclear energy”.
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said that Iran was not providing the necessary cooperation that would convince the agency in the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran and in that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.
“Full implementation by Iran of its binding obligations is needed to establish international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran·s nuclear programme. While the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at nuclear facilities and locations outside facilities declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement,” Amano said.
Amano stressed, “Iran is not providing the necessary cooperation to enable the Agency to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”
He urged Iran “to take steps towards the full implementation of its Safeguards Agreement and its other obligations.”
As a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has an inalienable right to develop a peaceful nuclear programme under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier.
The door to the talks on the Iranian nuclear issue remains open, IAEA Russian Governor Grigory Berdennikov said earlier, speaking on behalf of the Sextet – Russia, Britain, Germany, China, the United States, and France – which is involved in the negotiations with Iran.
“We would like to recall that our six states, with the support of the High Representative of the European Union, are fully determined and committed to look for a comprehensive and long-term negotiated solution that would help to restore international trust in the solely peaceful Iranian nuclear programme, while recognising Iran’s legitimate right to peaceful use of nuclear energy in accordance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,” he said.
Iran’s obligations under relevant resolutions of the U.N. Security Council and the IAEA Board of Governors “are clearly stated in the latest IAEA report” and “Iran’s full compliance with these international obligations is required for being assured of the solely peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme,” Berdennikov said.