Iranian Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar gestures after a wreath laying ceremony in Baku April 20, 2006. The prospect of the United States taking military action against Iran over its nuclear programme is empty talk, Najjar said on Thursday.
Reuters: Iran defence minister dismisses talk of US attack
The prospect of the United States using force to halt Iran’s nuclear programme is empty talk, Iranian Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said on Thursday.
U.S. President George W. Bush says he is using diplomacy to curb Iran’s atomic ambitions, but has not ruled out military options, even including a nuclear strike, to prevent the Islamic Republic from acquiring nuclear weapons.
“The United States has been threatening Iran for 27 years and this is not new for us. Therefore we are never afraid of U.S. threats,” Najjar told reporters during a visit to neighbouring Azerbaijan.
“If you take into account the fact that they are not doing anything, this shows it is just talk,” he said.
“We are ready to resolve all issues through negotiations (but) if we are confronted with something, we are ready to deal with it,” the minister added.
RIA NOVOSTI: Russia will deliver air defense systems to Iran – top general
The chief of the General Staff said Wednesday that Russia would honor its commitments on supplying military equipment to Iran.
“We discussed supplies of military equipment to Iran, including the Tor M1, in the framework of bilateral cooperation, but it does not fall into the category of strategic weapons,” Army General Yury Baluyevsky said after talks in Moscow with NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe General James Jones.
“And I can assure you it will be delivered under the control of the relevant organizations,” he said.
At the end of 2005, Russia concluded a $700-million contract on the delivery of 29 Tor M1 air defense systems to Iran.
The Tor-M1 is a fifth-generation integrated mobile air defense system designed for operation at medium, low and very low altitudes against fixed/rotary wing aircraft, UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicle), guided missiles and other high-precision weapons.
Despite strong criticism from the United States, Russia has maintained that the systems could be used only to protect Iran’s air space.
Baluyevsky also said Russia’s Armed Forces would not be involved in any military conflict in Iran.
“I do not think the conflict [in Iran] will turn into a war,” he said. “Russia will not propose the use of its armed forces in a potential military conflict on either side.”
AFP: Russian-built nuclear power station in Iran no threat: Moscow
A nuclear power station being built by Russia in Iran presents no threat, Moscow’s top nuclear official said here following a US demand for the project to be shut down.
The building of the Bushehr nuclear power station does not threaten the non-proliferation regime,” Rosatom nuclear agency head Sergei Kiriyenko told journalists in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek.
US Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns said during a visit to Moscow Thursday that “it is important for countries to stop cooperation with Iran on nuclear issues, even on civilian nuclear issues like the Bushehr facility.”
Burns made clear that he was talking about various countries’ work with Iran’s nuclear industry. However, Russia is Iran’s biggest nuclear partner and is building the country’s first atomic power station at Bushehr.
“A number of countries are continuing to permit the export of dual-use materials that could be used, and we think in some cases are being used, to help the growth of Iran’s nuclear industry,” Burns said.
“It is the view of my government that it would be appropriate now for those individual governments to stop that practice and no longer permit it.”
AP: Russia to Set Iran Position After Report
Russia will decide its stance on the Iranian nuclear crisis based on a report next week by the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the deputy foreign minister said Thursday.
Sergei Kislyak said consultations would be held after the April 28 release of the report by Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Both Russia and China have been resistant to levying sanctions against Iran in response to suspicions over its nuclear program.
“We will determine our reaction depending on the contents of the report,” Kislyak was quoted as saying by the ITAR-Tass news agency. “The IAEA has ideas of what is happening and what is not happening in Iran. We’ll be relying on these evaluations.”
China on Thursday renewed calls for a negotiated settlement.
“We hope relevant parties will exercise restraint and show flexibility to properly handle the Iranian nuclear issue, to create conditions for the solution of the issue through negotiations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a regular briefing in Beijing.
TAR-Tass quoted an unnamed Iranian source as saying that Russian diplomats were meeting Thursday with an Iranian delegation led by Javad Vaidi, deputy secretary of Iran’s National Security Council. The Russians were briefing the Iranians on the results of meetings in Moscow this week between the five permanent U.N. Security Council members, plus Germany, ITAR-Tass reported.
And anyone in the international community EXPECTS Russia to sanction their business partner, Iran?
The United States will push for a punishing resolution in the United Nations Security Council. Then, listen to the squeals coming from Russia and China.
The United States and Israel are alone in dealing with Iran’s uranium enrichment program AND they WILL deal with it.
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