Media Availability with Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov

March 16, 2001

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Unofficial translation from Russian

Question: Igor Sergeyevich, what subjects did you cover at your meeting with the President of Iran? What could you say about Western media comments on cooperation between Russia and Iran in the sphere of military technology?

Igor Ivanov: The concluding meeting with President Mohammad Khatami of Iran took place in Moscow. Although the visit is not yet over - today Mr. Khatami will travel to St. Petersburg, and then on to Kazan - we have summed up the results of the political component of the visit. Both the Russian and the Iranian side are deeply satisfied with the results achieved. The principal ones of them have been written into the final Joint Communique, which also reflects the sides' approaches of principle to outstanding international problems and to the building of bilateral relations.

I would like to stress that Russian-Iranian relations will be built on the basis of strict respect for the UN Charter and the fundamental principles of international law. Russia and Iran intend to closely cooperate in the interests of settling conflict situations, especially in the regions abutting on our countries, such as Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Persian Gulf and the Middle East. We proceed from the assumption that close collaboration between Russia and Iran should be an important factor of stability in the above regions. It is based on these principles that we plan to develop Russian-Iranian relations.

As for specific fields, we discussed a broad range of bilateral cooperation. These include major economic and industrial projects and cooperation in aircraft building, the development of gas and oil fields and the construction of power stations. Good progress has been achieved on a number of these projects. We hope that talks on them will be finalized and that the projects will go ahead.

We plan to cooperate in the spheres of science, scientific technology and military technology, and also in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. We are committed to developing Russian-Iranian relations in every area of mutual interest.

Some of the commentaries appearing in the West deliberately put false emphasis on matters related to military-technological cooperation, which is an inalienable part of cooperation between our countries just as much as of our collaboration with other nations. There is nothing special about it. The attempts to focus on this matter alone reflect the desire of certain circles to cast a shadow over Russian-Iranian relations. In reality the situation is very different: our relations are developing harmoniously and dynamically in every area of bilateral cooperation. As the President of the Russian Federation said at the joint press conference, military-technological cooperation will be developing to the extent required for ensuring Iran's defense capability. At the same time it will not be directed against third countries or do damage to them or to stability in the region. It is from these principles that we proceed in building Russian-Iranian cooperation in the military field.

Question: Igor Sergeyevich, you said yesterday that the Iranian side had presented its proposals on the status of the Caspian Sea. Could you specify their content?

Igor Ivanov: As we know, complex talks are under way among all the Caspian states on the status of the Caspian Sea. There is a range of approaches, and Russia has tabled its proposals as well. The Iranian side has come up with certain additions to these proposals. Since the talks still are at a very involved stage, I would refrain from commenting on individual details. This is an internal negotiating process.

The proposals that have been presented seem to be interesting. We are closely examining them, and we will discuss them with other Caspian nations.