Step by step: Russia’s plan to bring Iran back for good
The Islamic Republic of Iran has positively received Russia’s idea for a step-by-step solution and is ready to prepare suggestions for cooperation in the nuclear sphere,” reads the official statement by President Ahmadinejad which was posted on his official web-site. The statement was published after Ahmadinejad met with the Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev on Tuesday. The web-site also contains the Russian official’s pronouncement that the Russian side was ready to discuss the Iranian nuclear dossier with President Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Hamenei, as it is difficult to find a solution without respect to official Iranian opinion. Patrushev made a two-day official visit to Iran on Monday and Tuesday as he met with the country’s top officials to discuss global and regional politics. However, the primarily focus of the talks centered on the contentious issues surrounding Iranian nuclear program. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi made a visit to Moscow on Wednesday and held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Sergey Lavrov suggested the step-by-step plan for the settlement of the Iranian nuclear program on July 12 while on an official visit to Washington. Lavrov said that the Russian proposal entailed that the sides would make a sort of a roadmap showing every demand the IAEA and the international community had, followed by the corresponding benefits Iran would receive by meeting them. For example, for every positive step Iran took in the right direction, they could see the corresponding sanction that would be lifted. The plan also proposed that all further sanctions against Iran must be frozen. The UN Security Council approved a fourth resolution to tighten international sanctions against Iran in June 2010 after Iran once again refused to wrap up its nuclear program and to clear up some ambiguities regarding its alleged military component.Russia is currently completing construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran. The construction was supervised by the International Agency of Atomic Energy of which Iran is a member, but some nations, including the USA, still say that the Iranian nuclear program is a potential threat. The opening of the facility has been delayed many times, but now top Iranian officials claim that it will be in operation after the holy month of Ramadan – in late August or early September.