Russia says opposes use of force against Iran
Reuters | August 17, 2005
Russia warned on Wednesday against using force to stop Iran's nuclear program, saying any such action would have grave and unpredictable consequences.
"We favor further dialogue and consider the use of force in Iran counter-productive and dangerous, something which can have grave and hardly predictable consequences," said a statement posted on the ministry's Web site www.mid.ru.
The West fears Iran's nuclear program, which the oil-rich state insists is aimed only at the peaceful generation of nuclear power, conceals ambitions to develop atomic weapons.
Iran angered the European Union and the United States by resuming work at a uranium conversion plant earlier this month, rejecting EU incentives offered in return for giving up its nuclear program.
Earlier this month U.S. President George W. Bush said military force remained a last resort to press Tehran to abandon its nuclear ambitions.
"We consider that problems concerning Iran's nuclear activities should be solved through political and diplomatic means, on the basis of international law and Tehran's close cooperation with International Atomic Energy Agency," the Russian statement said.
Russia, which has constructed a nuclear power plant for Iran and is hoping for more such contracts, has criticized Tehran for restarting the uranium conversion.
Moscow says there is no technical need for Iran to convert its own uranium since Moscow has agreed to supply all necessary nuclear fuel for the Bushehr power plant due to go into operation next year.