Alexa

Russian foreign minister dismisses Iran criticism

Russian foreign minister dismisses Iran criticism

Russia's foreign minister brushed off Iran's recent criticism Thursday as an emotional outburst and expressed frustration with the country in the standoff over its nuclear program.
The comments indicated growing dismay with Iran in Russia.
After long resistance, Russia is now supporting possible new sanctions against Iran because of concern it is developing nuclear weapons. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took Russia to task for this Wednesday, saying it was difficult to gauge whether the Kremlin was a friend or an enemy.
"This statement is being interpreted as emotional," Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a news conference.
He lamented that, despite Russia's years of efforts to resolve the dispute, "the response from the Iranian side has been unsatisfactory."
Russia and Iran have cultivated close relations for years, including Russia's construction of the Bushehr nuclear plant that many critics say is connected to Iran's efforts to build nuclear weapons. Russia also signed a contract in 2007 to sell S-300 air-defense missiles to Iran, which would substantially increase Iran's defense capacities, though none have been delivered.
Despite the ties, Russia has been able to exert little visible leverage in persuading Iran to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, and its frustration is clearly growing.
Lavrov appeared to hint that Russia is concerned that Iran's lack of cooperation could be undermining Russia's image as a major force in the international community.
"All the decisions that we make on all questions of external policy are based on national interests and on our responsibility as a great state which is involved in an array of international efforts to resolve difficult situations. And Iran is one of these," he said.
Aside from Ahmadinejad's criticism, Iran in turn has shown other signs this week of growing irritation with Russia. The Iranian ambassador this week said pointedly that Iran expects Russia to fulfill the S-300 contract.
Lavrov has suggested that the delay in delivery is due to concerns about aggravating regional tensions. Israel vehemently opposes delivery of the missiles.


Updated : 2020-12-02 02:14 GMT+08:00