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Karimi Qoddousi on Tehran-Moscow diplomatic shuttles

Russia Cannot Overlook Iran's Vital Position in ME

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, August 17 (ICANA) – A member of the Iranian parliament says Iran and Russia enjoy deep and longstanding relations and can enter into talks on various political, economic and technological fields to serve the interests of both countries.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 8:15:29 PM
Russia Cannot Overlook Iran's Vital Position in ME

Commenting on the Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi's Moscow visit and expansion of Iran-Russia diplomatic ties, MP Javad Karimi Qoddousi said Wednesday: "Iran enjoys a vital geopolitical position in the Middle East region which cannot be overlooked by Russia."

Speaking to ICANA, the lawmaker noted that Iran's transparent and prominent positions concerning international and global issues are among privileges the two countries could use to reap the benefits.

He said Russia was faced with a serious challenge regarding NATO's Eastward expansion, adding that Tehran-Moscow cooperation on regional and international issues could be definitely effective.

Pointing to Iran's nuclear issue, the legislator said: "Today, Iran's nuclear issue has become an unsolvable question for the United States and for the same reason it is looking for a third party to save itself from this legal-political dilemma."

Karimi, also a member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Majlis, went on to say that Russia has been picked as a main choice in order to reopen the nuclear talks through its step-by-step plan.

The MP said Iran still sticks to its past positions on the nuclear issue, adding: "Our precondition for any negotiations is that our nuclear technology is accepted by Group 5+1 countries."

He said Iran supports talks but insists that IAEA and G5+1 must recognize its right of uranium enrichment. He also called for lifting of the sanctions against Iran in order to provide an open and democratic climate in the talks.

Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Tehran welcomes an approach laid out by Russia on Iran's nuclear program, expressing optimism that it will lead to consolidated mutual relations.

“(Russian Foreign Minister Sergei) Lavrov had made a proposal that indicate Russia's intention to accelerate the settlement of Iran's nuclear issue and to resolve the stalemate caused by the West,” Salehi told reporters upon his arrival in the Russian capital, Moscow, on Tuesday.

He added that Iran has not officially received details about the Russian plan yet but welcomed it since Moscow initiated the plan.

On July 13, Lavrov announced a new “step-by-step” approach toward Iran's nuclear program that would enable the Islamic Republic to take steps to address questions raised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

According to the plan, Iran can revive negotiations to alleviate individual concerns of the IAEA about its nuclear activities and be rewarded along the way by the partial removal of sanctions.

The approach would start out with the easiest questions and move on to more complicated ones that would require a longer time for a response, according to Lavrov.

Salehi noted that Iran is a “good and secure” neighbor to Russia and added, “Despite the recent ups and downs in mutual relations, we seek a strong Russia and an independent Iran which will complete each other in the international scene.”

The Iranian minister pointed out that Tehran and Moscow have reached an understanding that they should deepen bilateral cooperation in various fields with regard to regional and international developments.

“Regional developments will undoubtedly influence regional peace and stability. So, Russia has expressed its readiness to hold regular consultations with Iran to scrutinize regional developments,” Salehi further explained.

He went on to say that Iran and Russia share a common stance on regional and global developments, adding, “This issue has raised concerns for the US.”

In a recent letter, Lavrov expressed Russia's willingness to negotiate with Iran on a variety of issues, Salehi stated and emphasized that his current visit to Moscow is aimed at establishing sustainable mutual relations.

The top Iranian official is in Moscow at the head of a political delegation for a two-day visit upon the invitation of his Russian counterpart Lavrov.

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