Press Conference with Foreign Minister Lavrov on EU3 Talks (Excerpts)

March 2, 2005

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Unofficial translation from Russian

Question: How could you comment on the talks held today with the EU Troika on the Iranian problem?

Foreign Minister Lavrov: We are maintaining contact with the European Troika, who are negotiating with Tehran on the modalities of implementation of the accords reached in connection with the decision of the IAEA Board of Governors. According to these decisions, it is important to continue the non-resumption of the Iranian program of uranium enrichment in exchange for the discussion of guarantees for the peaceful development of nuclear power in Iran, solution of a number of economic problems existing in the country and consideration of Iran's participation in regional political processes. The United States is also attaching great importance to this problem. Today in the course of the conversations we discussed how further to carry on this line, considering that the European Troika plays a leading role and that the Russian Federation is also developing cooperation with Iran in the light of our bilateral arrangements, which includes the construction of the nuclear power plant in Bushehr in full accordance with the requirements of the IAEA and under its control. As you know, an agreement was signed a few days ago that the fuel to be supplied in due course for the station will, after it has been spent, be returned to the Russian Federation.

. . .

Question: From which side do we yet participate in the Quartet of international mediators? What can we do? The other participants are giving money - 300 million dollars each.

And the second question with regard to Iran. Giving up participation in a program which strains half the world would bring us indirectly much greater benefits, wouldn't it? I mean Bushehr.

Foreign Minister Lavrov: I not only did not hear, but even did not suspect that our cooperation with Iran on Bushehr "strains half the world." Many years ago a period was when the US used to have some serious problems with this project. But this period is far behind. No one has any doubts now that our cooperation in the construction of the nuclear power plant in Bushehr carries no threat with it for the nuclear weapons nonproliferation regime. This project is being carried out under the full control of the IAEA. It is absolutely transparent, and provides for the return of spent fuel. We have been informing our partners in detail about all this. I repeat it, there exist no concerns, nor even less so an alarm that would be extending to half the world.

. . .