Interview with Svetlana Babaeva

Svetlana Babaeva, a RIA News Agency journalist, joined Russia Today to speak on the further prospects of Iran–Russia co-operation in building the Bushehr nuclear plant.

Russia Today: According to the latest statements by the Russian Foreign Ministry, the completion of the nuclear power plant in Bushehris delayed. At the same time we know that the U.S. and other countries have opposed the construction of the plant with Russia's help since the very start. What do you think – what are the reasons for this next delay, political or financial?

Svetlana Babaeva: Well, my impression is it may be a political reason, although Moscow has not announced that. And as for the  financial explanation it is quite a convenient explanation, but at the same time it is visible that Moscow also has no final decision on how to behave concerning Iranian issue. My impression also is that it is not a problem of the West, which also does not understand completely how to behave with Iran, or what consequences the West could face in the Iranian issue, and with the Iranian case in general. My impression is that Moscow shares this position, although it does not want to stress this visibly. I would remind you that President Vladimir Putin  has said several times, always softly but quite firmly, that he is also concerned about the prospects of the Iranian nuclear programme.

RT: Let’s go a bit deeper here. We know that Moscow has continually insisted that Iran has this right for peaceful nuclear enrichment.

S.B.: Exactly.

RT: Does it seem that Moscow now has changed its position?

S.B.: No, it does not. My impression is that the first sign that Moscow agreed to share some Western concerns on Iran was several years ago, after the G8 summit in France. I would remind you that there was a bilateral meeting of President Putin and Mr Blair, the former Prime Minister of the UK. Since then Moscow has not made a final decision on how to react, what should  the proper action on Iranian activity be, Yes, Moscow has stressed many times, and continues to stress, that every country should have a right to a peaceful programme. But at the same time, Moscow understands very well that sometime, in the future, it may be a kind of a threat also to Russia. And President Putin has repeated that again. He carefully reminded us of that several times.