By Svetlana Andreyeva and Konstantin Garibov
Teheran is ready to continue talks on nuclear development, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov stated after the meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The meeting took place on Thursday at the SCO summit in Beijing.
The presidents discussed future plans on preparation for the new round of talks between Teheran and international mediators on Iran’s nuclear program, the Russian Foreign Minister said. He confirmed that the talks will be held in Moscow on June 18-19 with the participation of the deputy ministers of the five permanent member states of the UN Security Council and Germany on one end, and Iran – on the other. Sergei Lavrov also noted Teheran’s positive outlook on the search for mutually acceptable solutions.
“We feel that Iran is seriously interested in establishing a stable negotiation process. Hopefully, the Moscow talks will be a step forward in that direction. We want to achieve progress with respect to the approved Russian proposal that is based on the principles of mutual cooperation and step-by-step development”.
Russia wants Teheran to convince the international community that Iran’s nuclear program has no military dimensions and insists that in return, the mediator countries support all positive steps on the part of Iran, eventually lifting the international sanctions.
Vladimir Putin and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also discussed the development of bilateral cooperation between Russia and Iran. Moscow continues to maintain ties with Teheran despite its Western partners’ call to support the economic sanctions against Iran. Supporting the sanctions will eventually lead to Iran’s isolation, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov said.
“At the meeting of the President of Russia and the President of Iran, both sides confirmed their readiness to strengthen bilateral ties that have century-old economic, humanitarian and cultural traditions. That also includes cooperation on the Caspian Sea issue. As for trade and economic relations, both sides emphasized the growing trade turnover and expressed mutual interest in increasing trade flow and investments between the two countries”.
Special attention at the talks between the two heads of state was devoted to participation in various multilateral projects, first of all in the field of transport and infrastructure, including projects under the SCO auspices.
As an SCO observer, Iran expressed its readiness to participate in the work of the organization, particularly in anti-terrorism and anti-drug programs. Moscow is sure that involving observer states, namely Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia, in these crucial programs aimed at countering incoming threats to regional security, will considerably increase the effectiveness of the work of the SCO.