Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov Remarks on Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant and the United Nations Security Council's Discussions of a Resolution on Iran (Excerpts)

March 22, 2007

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Country: 

  • Iran

[Unofficial translation from Russian.]

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Question: The discussion of a resolution on Iran is beginning in the United Nations Security Council today. Reports have appeared recently that Russia supposedly has formally linked the suspension of work at Bushehr to how Iran will respond to the appropriate UN actions, in particular, on an enrichment suspension program. How real is such a link? What proposals come from the Council's nonpermanent members? To what extent is a continuation of the work on the draft of a future resolution possible there?

Foreign Minister Lavrov: There is no link between the work on a resolution which is directed at settling the nuclear issue and the implementation of the project for the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant. I have read, in particular, in The New York Times the remarks of some anonymous European officials alleging we had told them about such a link. This is an unscrupulous trick, which shows once again for whom, probably from among those who one way or another were close at a stage to these negotiations or heard of them, it pays to try and present Russia in such a light. These are attempts with unsuitable means. What is being done at Bushehr, we have repeatedly stressed, is done in full conformity with the international obligations of the Russian Federation, under the full control of the IAEA and not only does not pose any threat from the viewpoint of WMD proliferation, in this case of nuclear weapons, but on the contrary is a model of how the nonproliferation regime operates and how all the IAEA statutory documents on nonproliferation work. So, I repeat, that it's not the first time that we have encountered attempts to unscrupulously interpret the position of Russia, either wishing to cause us to quarrel with somebody, in this case with Iran, or pursuing other narrowly selfish interests of theirs. Of the need to remove all these innuendoes and end all attempts to wrongly interpret and deliberately distort the positions of each other the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, spoke in Munich, when he invited everybody to engage in collective, truly honest and open, not underhand work.

As to the work in the UN Security Council on a resolution, we at the stage of the discussion of the draft of the Six removed the toughest proposals, including a ban on foreign trips of Iranian officials, a ban on credits to Iran and transferred all these bans into a form which prohibit neither. We did it because we had previously agreed to pressure Iran gradually, commensurately with the real situation. We are not going to support excessive sanctions.

Indeed, South Africa and Indonesia have proposed amendments which, among other things, emphasize the global character of the task of nonproliferation. We hold that these amendments merit the closest examination. We will treat them constructively.

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