Russia Backs Iran’s Ahmadinejad, Pans Nuclear Weapons Report

  @https://twitter.com/dantovrov on November 09 2011 3:34 PM
Sergei Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Reuters

Russia attacked Tuesday's International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran's nuclear program, saying that it would not allow the United Nations to impose any punitive measures on the Islamic republic.

The anticipated IAEA report concluded Iran has done work on the development of an indigenous design of a nuclear weapon including the testing of component in the past and might still be doing so.

But on Wednesday, Russia called the report a compilation of known facts, given a politicized tone and condemned the IAEA for trying to rouse European suspicions about Iran.

According to our initial evaluations, there is no fundamentally new information, the Russian Foreign Ministry said about the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report.

Russia currently operates the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant in Iran, and has been asked by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to being work on another. The price tag on the potential new plant is unknown, but Bushehr cost about $4 billion.

Ahmadinejad said in September that Iran and Russia are neighbors, adding that neighbors must be friends with one another. There are efforts on both sides in order to have a mutually beneficial ongoing relationship.

Russia has remained steadfastly on Iran's side in the nuclear matter, and a day before the IAEA report was published, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that any military or aggressive action against Iran, under any circumstances, would be a very serious mistake fraught with unpredictable consequences.  

Iran's nuclear program has attracted significant international attention in the past, especially over the past few weeks. Israel, considering any Iranian nuclear weapons initiative a direct threat to its safety, considered launching a pre-emptive strike to destroy the program.

While most international leaders agree that a military strike against Iran would be a mistake, a nuclear Iran is a problem for which they are not many solutions.

Unfortunately, there are very few good policy options for dealing with Iran, CFR's Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow Matthew Kroenig said. The United States almost certainly should and will go to the United Nation Security Council and ask for an additional round of sanctions.

He also stated that Russia and China would very likely veto any proposed sanctions.

Russia has already stated that new sanctions would be unacceptable, echoing Iranian governmental suspicion that the report is an excuse to drum up anti-Iran sentiment.

Any additional sanctions against Iran will be seen in the international community as an instrument for regime change in Iran. That approach is unacceptable to us, and the Russian side does not intend to consider such proposals, Interfax quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov as saying.

Iran has repeatedly made similar charges, insinuating that the report was part of a plot to legitimize a Zionist military offensive.  

Israel and the West, particularly the U.S., are afraid of the role and capabilities of Iran, and therefore are attempting to drum up international support for a military campaign against Iran, which is meant to deter Iran, Ahmadinejad said, according to the Tehran Times.

They are saying that Iran is seeking the atomic bomb. But they should know... we do not need a bomb... Rather we will act thoughtfully and with logic. History has shown that anyone acting against the Iranian nation regrets it.

Iran's foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi has similar words for international observers.

The West and the United States are exerting pressure on Iran without serious arguments and proof. We have repeatedly stated that we are not going to create nuclear weapons, Salehi said at a press conference.

I believe that these documents lack authenticity. But if they insist, they should go ahead and publish. Better to face danger once than be always in danger, he added.

We have said repeatedly that their documents are baseless. For example one can counterfeit money, but it remains counterfeit. These documents are like that.

The IAEA report is unbalanced, unprofessional and politically motivated, said Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's envoy to the IAEA, added Wednesday.

Immediately after the IAEA report went out, Iran's state run news agency Press TV went on the defense, ripping apart the accuracy of the report, calling agency director Yukiya Amano a puppet of the American government.

The report is a U.S.-engineered new allegation against the Islamic Republic, for the purpose of striking fear into the heart of the world that Iran is on the course of producing nuclear weapons and that the world is on the brink of ruination, Iranian political analyst Ismail Salami wrote.

Nonetheless, Iran said it was willing to negotiate with world powers to reduce the sanctions against it. However, negotiations might be difficult since Ahmadinejad has said that he will not alter Iran currently nuclear strategy at all.

You should know that this nation will not pull back even a needle's width from the path it is on, he said in a speech carried live on Iranian state television. Why do you damage the agency's dignity because of America's invalid claims?

Ahmadinejad blasted the United States, which has over 5,000 nuclear warheads, for being hypocritical, a claim he has made on a number of occasions.

During a United Nations speech in September, Ahmadinejad condemned the United States and NATO for calling themselves the defender of freedom, democracy, and human rights while simultaneously fighting multiple wars and ignoring global crises like the famine in Somalia.

Can the flower of democracy blossom from NATO's missiles, bombs and guns? he asked.

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