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Russia, Iran Disagree On Enrichment Halt

Sergei Lavrov (file photo) (epa) 1 March 2006 -- Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated today Russia's call for Iran to return to a moratorium on enriching uranium as a condition for taking part in a joint enrichment facility on Russian territory.

Lavrov was speaking to reporters in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, where President Vladimir Putin was on a state visit.

In Moscow, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, said there was no need for Tehran to resume a moratorium on uranium-enrichment activity, insisting that all its nuclear activities were "transparent."

He added that Iran agrees to international inspections if they are conducted in line with international law.

"We agree with [International Atomic Energy Agency] inspections and international regulations," Larijani said. "In this regard, therefore, they should not make threats against a country that believes in these regulations. Threats and violent behavior were used in the past and they did not work."

Larijani is in Moscow for talks on a Russian proposal to form a joint venture to enrich Iran's uranium in Russia. The proposal is intended to allay international concerns over Iran's nuclear program.

(AP, Reuters)

Iran's Nuclear Program

Iran's Nuclear Program

THE COMPLETE PICTURE: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.


An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.