Da The Moscow Times del 24/08/2006
Originale su http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2006/08/24/011.html

Moscow Dismisses Sanctions for Tehran

The Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that it would be premature to discuss sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, signaling a cautious approach a day after Tehran responded to an international package of proposed incentives to stop enriching uranium.

"To speak of any sanctions in relation to Iran is premature" because the UN Security Council's Aug. 31 deadline for Iran to halt uranium enrichment or face the risk of economic and political sanctions has not passed, ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said, Interfax reported.

While Kamynin's comment was little more than a statement of fact, it added to indications that the United States would likely face difficulty getting support for any tough sanctions against Iran, despite Moscow's backing of the incentives and the resolution.

Earlier Wednesday, Kamynin said Moscow would continue to seek a political resolution to the dispute.

Iran submitted its written response Tuesday to a package of incentives offered by the United States and five other world powers, including Russia, if it would roll back on its nuclear program.

"The Russian side has started studying the Iranian reply along with its partners in the sextet," Kamynin said in a statement. "Russia will continue with its course of searching for a political solution ... and will continue to seek to preserve the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency and prevent the erosion of the nonproliferation regime."

Iran said Tuesday that it was ready for "serious negotiations" on its nuclear program, insisting it was not trying simply to buy time to develop weapons.

Also Wednesday, Iranian nuclear officials were to visit the Kalinin nuclear power plant in the Tver region to discuss issues including training personnel for Iran's Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant.

The Iranian delegation, which includes the vice president of the country's nuclear energy organization, Mahmoud Jannatian, began its visit Tuesday.

The United States long objected to the Bushehr project on the grounds that it could help Iran develop nuclear weapons. In a move that somewhat eased those concerns, Russia insisted all spent fuel from the plant be returned in order to prevent Iran from reprocessing the spent fuel into weapons-grade plutonium.

Irina Yesipova, a spokeswoman for Atomstroiexport, which is hosting the Iranian delegation, said it would be "practically impossible" for Iran to produce the necessary quantities of fuel to run the reactor.

To operate the Bushehr reactor on Iranian fuel, Tehran would need technology not only to enrich uranium but also to produce fuel clusters and elements, which demand high-cost technology, international licensing and vast amounts of time and money, she said.

Russia will allow Iran to take part in minor aspects of nuclear reactor construction, however, Atomstroiexport said in a statement.

Nonessential components -- such as cables, transformers, and metal structures -- will be produced by Iranian companies, Yesipova said, adding that Iran insisted on the participation of Iranian companies in the construction process.

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