Russia awaits explanations from Iran on nuclear program


Russia is expecting “appropriate” explanations from Iran on its controversial nuclear program, said President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday at Urals city of Yekaterinburg.

Regarding Iran as Russia’s “active and historically proven trade partner,” Medvedev nonetheless said Moscow cannot be “indifferent to how it is developing its nuclear program” and “how the military components of this program look like.”

On this account, “we are expecting appropriate explanations from Iran,” he said at a joint press conference with visiting German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Russia has been obtaining information via different channels, which indicated that “these programs are developing,” said Medvedev.

“Iran should face up to beginning full-scale cooperation with the international community, even though it might not like some questions it is being asked,” he added.

Earlier, head of Rostehnologii (Russian Technologies), Sergei Chemezov, told reporters that a decision to annul a contract worth 800 million U.S. dollars on selling S-300 air defense systems to Tehran has so far not been made.

“This should be a presidential decision,” he said.

On Wednesday, Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said, after meeting visiting Iranian oil Minister Masoud Mir-Kazzemi, that Moscow was ready to supply Tehran with oil products.

Iranian media sources earlier reported that an agreement on the preparation of a roadmap for energy cooperation between Russia and Iran was expected to be signed during Mir-Kazzemi’s visit to Russia.

The United Nations Security Council approved in June a new package of economic sanctions on Iran over its controversial nuclear program.

Russian officials said last month that the sanctions would not affect its energy or military cooperation with Tehran.

The United States and other Western countries worry that Tehran is trying to build bombs under the cover of a nuclear energy program, but the Iranian government insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. Xinhua



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