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12 Jul, 2010 12:44

Iran advancing in nuclear research - Medvedev

The Islamic Republic “is getting closer to possessing the potential that in principle can be used to create a nuclear weapon,” Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said.

Medvedev added that breaking up the dialogue with Tehran would become “our common failure.”

“It is time to finally abandon simplified approaches to [the Iranian nuclear problem],” Medvedev said on Monday at a meeting in Moscow with Russian ambassadors and permanent representatives, Interfax cites.

However, the Russian head of state noted that possessing such potentials is not prohibited by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which “is one of the problems” arising from the imperfection of international regulations.

Medvedev has reiterated the stance Moscow has long been pursuing: sanctions hardly ever lead to positive results. However, he went on, there is a point in imposing sanctions and that is sending “a signal which stimulates the negotiating process.”

“We should now be patient and resume the dialogue with Tehran as soon as possible. That is, we believe, the key goal of the new UN Security Council resolution on Iran,” the Russian president said.

If diplomacy misses a chance for resuming talks with the Islamic Republic, “it would be a common failure of the entire international community,” Medvedev stressed.

Meanwhile, “Iran is not acting in the best way,” the Russian leader noted. Moscow is constantly calling on Tehran to show openness and cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He noted that the so-called Group of Six international intermediaries has an even bigger responsibility.

Russia's ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin was at the meeting with the president and told RT that he hopes diplomatic efforts over Iran's nuclear dispute will be renewed soon.

Washington welcomes Moscow’s rhetoric

“I believe that [Medvedev's] comments demonstrate the international consensus and a unity of purpose in the international community in addressing Iran and its illicit nuclear weapons program,” said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, according to the official website.

He went on to say that with the help of Russia and China, “we have instituted the strongest sanctions ever placed on Iran – sanctions that will have bite and that will greatly complicate their ability to do business around the world, and have a real impact on Iran’s ability to pursue this type of capability. So, again, I think it demonstrates the progress that we’ve made internationally in bringing along a community of nations, as well as taking concrete steps to make it more difficult.”

The US State Department has also had its say on Dmitry Medvedev’s statements.

“I think this is just indicative of the cooperation – and shared perspective – that the United States and Russia have reached on this issue based on the extensive dialogue that the presidents have had, the secretaries of state and foreign minister have had, the defense officials have had over many, many months,” said State Department spokesman Philip Crowley talking to journalists at a daily briefing, the department’s website quotes.

Russia, he said, “clearly reached consensus within the Security Council in both supporting, crafting and passing the recent sanctions resolution.”

He said that he did not think there “has been a great deal of daylight” between American and Russian stances.

“We have the same concerns about the threat that an unchecked Iranian program poses to the region. Russia has a special concern because it sits directly adjacent to that neighborhood,” Crowley stated.

Russia opposes unilateral approaches on missile defense

Moscow is against one-sided approaches to missile defense issues and the deployment of weapons in space, Medvedev said while addressing the country’s top diplomats on Monday. “Obviously, the necessary level of defense must be provided,” he added.

The president also stressed that Moscow and Washington should not stop in building cooperation.

“Remains of the Cold War are passing and we have no right to stop on the path of improving understanding between such powerful states as Russia and the US,” Medvedev said. He noted that their comprehensive approaches to guaranteeing security coincide in full.

“The signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty is yet another proof of that,” he said.

According to the president, the results of intensive efforts on the American track “show that the state of affairs can be radically changed within a short period of time”.

Medvedev sets tasks for diplomats

Dmitry Medvedev has set goals that Russian diplomats should work on. He said that foreign policy instruments should be used for the sake of the development of the country and defined three main tasks.

First of all, it is modernization of Russia’s economy. “Our diplomats should be familiar with all the basic directions [of modernization],” he said, RIA Novosti writes. Medvedev urged the officials to work out a list of countries who would see cooperation with Russia in that process as mutually beneficial.

“We have defined our priorities, but we should also decide from cooperation with which states we would benefit most,” he said.

The second task is the development of civil society institutions. Medvedev underlined that Russia should uphold its national interests. Democracy standards, he stressed, cannot be imposed unilaterally.

“They should be worked out jointly due to the views of other states where democracy has recently established or has not yet established,” Itar-Tass quotes Medvedev as saying. “The states will follow these standards without hypocrisy or coercion.”

Finally, Medvedev outlined combating organized crime – including terrorism and drug-trafficking – as one of the key problems the country and its foreign ministry should work on.

“The current trends require flexibility and quickness in decision making. The diplomatic service must give a new quality to their work,” he said, Interfax writes.

Pragmatism, openness, and refraining from confrontation – those are the main principles diplomats should follow in their work, Medvedev said.

Medvedev would like NATO to cooperate with Russia and CSTO

Dmitry Medvedev said that he would like to see equal partnership between NATO and Moscow and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which unites former Soviet republics including Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

“We would like to have a clearer idea of what will happen to NATO,” Medvedev said. “We wish the alliance finalized its transformation and became a modern organization providing security; an organization that heads into to 21st century, not the 20th.”

He stressed that it is necessary to continue maintaining contacts while respecting the rules of the international law – first of all the UN Charter.

“The efficiency of the reform of the United Nations organization largely depends on the position of powerful regional structures, which could take more responsibilities for the state of affairs in their regions,” Medvedev said, writes Itar-Tass. Only then the UN will be able to effectively address global issues.