Putin acknowledges Iran’s right to enrich uranium

Russia's President Vladimir Putin

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that Moscow believes Tehran has the right to enrich uranium under the supervision of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“Our position is based on a belief that Iran has a right to peaceful nuclear activity including uranium enrichment, naturally under control of the IAEA,” he said in an interview with Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram on the eve of his visit to Cairo.

Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) are in talks to hammer out a final agreement to end more than a decade of impasse over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.

When asked what measures Russia takes to settle the problem over the Iranian nuclear program, Putin said, “I can say with no exaggeration that Russia makes a significant contribution to the settlement of the situation around the Iranian nuclear program.”

“It was not an easy task to convince our partners from the P5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council plus Germany) to agree with this approach. At first, we continuously asked all the parties involved to sit down at the negotiating table and start a serious discussion of the ways to resolve this problem.”

“We tried to convince them that there was no alternative to the political and diplomatic settlement. Then, we proposed a conceptual framework to advance along this way – the principles of the stage-by-stage movement and reciprocity. And such an approach was supported by all the participants in the process,” he added.

Putin went on to say that substantial progress has been made, but at the same time noted that the two sides have not managed yet to produce a final comprehensive solution either regarding the Iranian nuclear program itself or the prospects of lifting the sanctions.

“We expect the efforts in this field to be continued. The crucial point is that nobody should try to derive unilateral benefit from the situation or to bargain out more than what is needed for a balanced and just resolution of this complicated issue,” he said.

Iran has repeatedly emphasized the peaceful nature of its nuclear energy program and reassured the world that it has nothing to hide regarding its civilian atomic program.

In its reports, the International Atomic Energy Agency reconfirmed that there has been no diversion of Iran’s nuclear material.

By Tasnim News Agency