Last update - 14:33 17/01/2008|
FM: Russian fuel deliveries could help Iran develop nuclear arms
Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent and News Agencies
Minister Tzipi said on Thursday that Israel is concerned Russian
deliveries of nuclear fuel to Iran might help Tehran develop nuclear
Russia last month delivered the first shipment of nuclear
fuel to Iran's first nuclear power plant in Bushehr, a step which both
Moscow and Washington said should convince Tehran to stop its own uranium
But Livni said during a visit to Russia that
the fuel might help Iran develop its nuclear weapons program. "Now Russia
has started delivering nuclear fuel to Bushehr, [Iran's] uranium
enrichment may serve military goals," Russian news agencies quoted Livni
Israel, Washington's staunchest ally in Middle East,
says Iran could have a nuclear bomb by 2010 and says an Iranian nuclear
weapon would threaten Israel's existence.
community must turn its declarations of concerns over Iran's nuclear
program into action or the rules of the game are likely to change, Livni
said on Thursday.
Livni, who arrived in Moscow late Wednesday
for talks with Russian officials on Iran and the Middle East process,
said, "Iran's destructive ideology is not connected to Israel, but to deep
extremist religious foundations."
"The combination of this
ideology with its experiments to acquire nuclear weapons obligates the
world to translate its declarations into actions. If the world does not
deal with iran the situation and the rules of the game are likely to
Meanwhile, China urged flexibility and compromise from
both Iran and the West on Thursday ahead of discussions focused on
possible United Nations action aimed at reining in Tehran's nuclear
Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili is in
Beijing for talks and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte is
also visiting China for discussions that will feature Iran.
hope that Iran will be able to abide by the relevant UN Security Council
resolutions and continue to show flexibility and fully cooperate with the
international community," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu
told a news conference.
"We also hope that the international
community will intensify diplomatic efforts to break the
She did not say explicitly whether China favoured or
opposed further UN sanctions against Iran.
Foreign ministers from
major powers, including China, are set to meet in Berlin next week to
discuss a possible third UN Security Council sanctions resolution against
The West fears Tehran is seeking an atom bomb and has imposed
two sets of United Nations sanctions. Iran says it aims only to generate
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council,
China has the power to veto any resolutions.
A U.S. intelligence
estimate late last year concluded that Iran stopped nuclear warhead
development efforts in 2003. But Washington and other Western powers say
Iran's uranium enrichment and other nuclear activities remain dangerous
and defy earlier UN resolutions.
With a growing dependence on
Iranian oil and a general distaste for economic sanctions, China has been
reluctant to embrace tougher U.N. measures.
China has urged Iran to
abide by UN demands to answer questions about its nuclear activities, but
has been reluctant to back a U.S. drive for further sanctions against
Iran, which is Beijing's third-largest supplier of imported crude
Negroponte said the U.S. intelligence estimate did not remove
the need for tougher sanctions.
"We think it's important that there
be an additional Security Council resolution, because Iran is out of
compliance with previously passed resolutions," Negroponte told reporters
ahead of his talks with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo.
Iran: Western nuclear pressure is failing
negotiator Jalili said on Thursday the West had failed in efforts to put
pressure on the Islamic Republic over its atomic activities.
countries who so far have been after imposing sanctions and putting
pressure on Iran have not achieved any success," chief nuclear negotiator
Saeed Jalili told the official IRNA news agency at the start of a visit to
"Today, global developments and Iran's logical behavior do
not allow anybody to do this."
A U.S. intelligence report last
month said Iran stopped an active nuclear arms drive in 2003, compounding
international disagreement over the next steps regarding
China and Russia, veto-wielding UN Security Council members,
have balked at more sanctions resolutions on Tehran.
Iran and China, which imports large amounts of oil from the Islamic state,
enjoyed good relations.
Iran's OPEC governor, Hossein Kazempour
Ardebili, said he did not believe the UN Security Council would be able to
agree on new sanctions against Tehran.
"In my opinion it is
unlikely that the Chinese and Russians would join a third resolution," he
told the Iran daily. "Any sanctions on investments in Iran's energy sector
could endanger security of supply and hit consumer countries," he
Germany said on Wednesday it wanted a UN resolution
increasing sanctions on Iran and major powers plan to meet in Berlin on
Tuesday to discuss strategy.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter
Steinmeier will first consult in Vienna on Thursday with International
Atomic Energy Agency Director Mohamed ElBaradei.
The UN nuclear
watchdog chief held talks in Tehran last week to seek swifter cooperation
with a long IAEA inquiry into Iran's nuclear history and an end to curbs
on UN inspections meant to ensure its present programme is wholly
ElBaradei returned with an agreement from Iran to answer
remaining questions within a month about past, covert nuclear work that
had military applications.
Iranian officials have said new
sanctions could hurt its cooperation with the UN nuclear body.
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Original article: Ha'aretz
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