Russia slams British statement on Iran

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Moscow, May 6: Russia has strongly criticised British Foreign Secretary David Miliband's statement on Iran saying Iran-Six talks in London on May 2 do not reflect the opinion of all the participants.

Mr Miliband in his statement after the talks, did not reveal the details of the new offer to Tehran at Iran-Six talks but expressed hope thet Iran would ''recognise the seriousness and the sincerity'' of the new approach, stressing Tehran's uranium enrichment programme still posed a serious threat. ''David Miliband's statement reflects his own point of view rather than the collective opinion of the Iran-Six, at least, it does not reflect our position,'' Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement yesterday.

''There was no discussion of new threats allegedly posed by the Iranian nuclear programme or new approaches toward Iran during the recent ministerial meeting,'' it said.

Iran-Six countries--engaged in the long-running nuclear talks with Iran--include the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany. Last Friday, at their talks in London, they agreed to offer new incentives to Tehran to halt its nuclear programmes.

The West suspects Iran is seeking to build nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear programme, which Tehran denies.

Yesterday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also accused some of his other colleagues of distorting the results of the talks in London.

''Some of my colleagues at the talks in London surprised me by trying to say that we agreed on some tougher stance in relations with Iran,'' Lavrov said, adding ''Moscow has made it clear already that this is an absolute distortion of what was achieved in London.'' Lavrov said the London meeting yielded a package of ''positive incentives,'' which would be handed to Tehran in due time. However, he did not reveal details of the new proposals, saying Iran should be the first to know their contents.


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