President Vladimir Putin and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov Discuss the Iranian Nuclear Crisis During a Cabinet Meeting (Excerpts)

February 26, 2007

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Country: 

  • Iran

. . .

SERGEI LAVROV: We held a meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, the United States and Germany last week, with Javier Solana, representing the European Union, taking part as well. We discussed our next steps with regard to Iran and agreed to continue working together in the Security Council, which has just received the latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, and, in parallel, to continue working, with the IAEA management's participation, with the Iranians to try to find a basis on which we can resume negotiations.

Today, in accordance with the agreement we reached at our meeting, the deputy foreign ministers of the six countries working with Iran, that is to say, with the United Kingdom, France, China, plus the European Union, taking part, are meeting in London to look for a solution that, using every possible lever, would enable a resumption of negotiations.

This is not an easy task because, on the one hand, the Iranian leadership has still not provided satisfactory answers to the International Atomic Energy Agency's questions, and on the other hand, there are increasingly frequent and worrying predictions that air strikes will be launched against Iran. In particular, the U.S. Vice President recently mentioned such a possibility.

We will therefore act in accordance with the line that you have set, in accordance with your appeals to the Iranian leadership and with your contacts with the leaders of the six countries working with Iran, to do everything we can to find a diplomatic solution.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: What are we talking about here - strikes that do not have UN Security Council authorisation?

SERGEI LAVROV: None of those who are talking about such a possibility have mentioned any such authorisation. While he was in Australia, the U.S. Vice President said just recently that he does not rule out such a possibility because Iran cannot be allowed to ignore the international community's opinion.