Agence France Presse

Иран настаивает на поправках к новой резолюции Совета Безопасности ООН

MOSCOW (AFP) - Top Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani has warned against tough UN Security Council measures on Iran`s nuclear programme as he came to Moscow for talks with high-ranking Russian officials.

Larijani, who was due to meet with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian security council chief Igor Ivanov, warned Iran would reconsider its cooperation with international nuclear inspectors if punitive UN sanctions proposed by key European powers are imposed.

"We will review our relations with the IAEA if the UN adopts the European resolution without the amendments proposed by Russia," Larijani was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying Friday.

And even if Russian amendments softening the proposed UN resolution are included, that "will not make Iran change its mind" about its nuclear program, he said. "We have to find a logical way to solve this problem."

The United States and the European Union say they suspect Iran of using a budding nuclear energy program to mask nuclear weapons work and have spearheaded international pressure for tough measures against Iran.

Russia, which is building Iran`s first civilian nuclear power plant at Bushehr, has consistently sought to steer the standoff away from direct confrontation.

Tehran denies having military plans, insisting its nuclear activities are legal and strictly for energy purposes. The country`s nuclear programme remains under supervision of the United Nations` inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Larijani reiterated Iran`s openness to a Russian compromise proposal under which uranium needed for any future Iranian nuclear programme would be enriched at Russian facilities, thereby preventing Iran from mastering the sensitive technology on its own soil.

"This proposal was never rejected and it remains on the negotiating table," Larijani said.

The Iranian negotiator also said Tehran was carefully studying a package of proposals from six world powers aimed at dissuading Iran from pursuing sensitive nuclear work on its own.

"We hope that the problem will be solved within the framework of these proposals," he said.

Debate at the UN Security Council on possible sanctions comes after Iran refused to halt sensitive nuclear fuel work that can be used for atomic energy generation but also, eventually, to build atomic weapons.

Larijani this week shrugged off the impact of any sanctions, saying "this will not have any effect on the economic situation and on the people`s daily life," Iran`s semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

Russia, one of the permanent members along with Britain, China, France and the United States, has said the resolution is too tough on Iran and has proposed major amendments to the draft.


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