Russia has no information Iran developing nuclear programme: Lavrov

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Moscow, Dec 5 (UNI) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today said Russia has no information that Iran was developing its military nuclear programme before 2003.

''We do not have information that such research was made before 2003, though US colleagues stated that this was the case,'' Mr Lavrov said here at a press conference after talks with his Armenian counterpart Vardan Oskanian.

He stressed the information provided by the United States gave no grounds to assume that Iran had ever pursued a military nuclear programme.

''The data possessed by our American partners, or at least the data shown to us, give no reason to assume that Iran has ever pursued a military nuclear programme,'' Mr Lavrov said.

''In the course of contacts that have taken place in the past two or three years, there has been exchange of judgments based on information obtained by intelligence services in 2003 and this information gives no reasons to assume that Iran pursued a military nuclear programme,'' he added.

Mr Lavrov said Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Iran yesterday to take heed of the international community's demands, including freezing its uranium enrichment programme, at a meeting with the Iranian Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili.

He pointed out Moscow will approach the issue of the UN Security Council's proposed new resolution on Iran with recent news of the US-published information suggesting that Iran had no secret military nuclear programme in mind.

''We will assesses the situation surrounding the proposal to pass a new Security Council resolution with several factors in mind, including of course, information, publicly confirmed by the United States, suggesting that no data are available pointing to the presence of a secret military programme,'' he said.

The US intelligence report released on Monday said Iran had halted a nuclear weapons programme in 2003.

US President George W Bush said yesterday that Iran still remained a threat and his view that a nuclear Iran would be a danger ''has not changed.'' UNI XC RJ RS1845

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