Chinese President Jintao (R) and Russian Prime Minister Putin are seen in this file photo. Russia and China are pushing the IAEA to soften or block the report on Iran. AP Photo.
Russia and China are urging the U.N. atomic agency to soften or even not
issue a report expected in two weeks detailing Iran’s suspected efforts to
develop nuclear weapons, diplomats said.
“It does seem like the Russians and Chinese are pressuring the IAEA
(International Atomic Energy Agency) to refrain from reporting on the possible
military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program,” one Western diplomat said.
Russia warned the United Nations on Tuesday against publishing a report which
is expected to heighten suspicion over Iran’s nuclear programme, saying to do so
will strain diplomatic efforts to resolve the major powers’ dispute with Tehran.
“It would without a doubt strain the atmosphere and may hinder the start of
serious negotiations,” the Russian ministry said in a statement on its
Another Western envoy to the agency said however that they expected the IAEA
head, Yukiya Amano, to resist such pressure and publish the report the week
before a Nov. 17-18 meeting of the 35-member IAEA board, as planned. The new
report is expected to address what the IAEA calls the “possible military
dimension,” meaning Iran’s research of how to put the fissile material in a
warhead and the development of ballistic missiles.
Russia sends mobile radar jammers to Iran
Amano said in a September report he was “increasingly concerned” about such
activities, saying its information was “extensive and comprehensive and has been
acquired both from many (IAEA) member states and through its own efforts.”
Russia and China have backed four rounds of U.N. sanctions on Iran since 2006
over its refusal to halt sensitive nuclear work that could have both civilian
and military uses.
Russia meanwhile has sent a set of mobile radar jammers to Iran and is
negotiating future deliveries that Moscow believes do not contravene the current
U.N. sanction regime on the Islamic state, an official said Oct. 25. The arms
delivery was disclosed the same day as one Western diplomat said that Russia and
China were both urging the UN atomic agency to soften or even hold back a report
detailing Iran’s suspected efforts to develop nuclear weapons. “This is a
defensive system,” the agency’s deputy director Konstantin Biryulin said.
“We are not talking about jets, submarines or even S-300 (missile) systems.
We are talking about providing security for the Iranian state.” “We are in
constant talks with Iran over that country’s purchases of military technology
that does not fall under U.N. sanctions,” he stated.
Compiled from AFP and Reuters stories by the Daily News staff.