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Iran sanctions veto saves Russia face

29 May 2010 15:14

Iranian lawmakers have criticized neighboring Russia over Moscow’s stance towards Tehran’s nuclear declaration and the US-pursued sanctions against Iran.

Spokesman for the Iranian Parliament’s (Majlis) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Kazem Jalali said Moscow was under the same “analytical misconception” as the US in believing Iran would never accept the fuel swap proposal.

“Russia can be effective in rejecting the [sanctions] resolution, and can save face internationally through a positive response to Iran’s letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),” Jalali added.

He went on to criticized the Kremlin’s double standard in urging Iran to commit to the fuel swap negotiations with Turkey and Brazil while supporting the US campaign for anti-Tehran sanctions.

Iran’s nuclear fuel swap declaration made its more difficult for the Russians “to correct their stance, as they had already traded on the issue,” Jalali said. “Russia believed their friendship games (with Iran) would acquire international legitimacy.”

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani also urged Russia to abandon its policy of “self-interest” over Iran’s nuclear program.

“We must consider these issues more carefully as Iran and Russia have common interests, and if the approach agreed on with the former Russian president (Vladimir Putin) had been pursued, it could have served the interests of both sides,” Larijani told reporters.

“Concerning nuclear issues, Russia has always sought to fit things within the frame of its own interests, and efforts must be made to return this approach to its precise path,” he added.

The remarks echoed similar comments by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who cautioned Moscow last week that its recent moves had cast doubt on its status as a friendly neighbor.

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