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Russia, China dispute Britain's remarks on Iran

TEHRAN, May 5 (Mehr News Agency) - On Monday, Russia and China strongly criticized UK Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva John Duncan for distorting reports about the decisions of the permanent members of the UN Security Council on Iran's nuclear program.

Chinese and Russian Permanent Representative at the United Nations Conference on Disarmament in Geneva said the statements by the British envoy do not represent the views of China and Russia.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the foreign ministers of the U.S., Britain, Russia, China, France, and Germany agreed on Friday to offer Iran a new package of incentives to curtail its nuclear program.

Miliband said the group "reviewed and updated" an offer made to Iran in June 2006.

However, Duncan claimed that the 5+1 group declared that Iran's nuclear program has created serious problems.

Duncan said, "The 5+1 message to Iran is that it should live up to its commitments."

"Iran should either respond positively to the proposed incentives or it will face more punishment by the Security Council," he added.

But the Russian and Chinese ambassadors reacted to Duncan's remarks.

Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said, "The 5+1 in London agreed to use political and diplomatic solution to resolve Iran's nuclear issue" and therefore it was decided to propose a new package of incentives to Iran.

The reality of the 5+1 meeting in London was just the opposite of what John Duncan depicted it as, Antonov added.

He said every delegation can have its own views but when they are talking on behalf of others about a sensitive issue like Iran's nuclear program they should not "distort the realities".

Duncan's comments are in line with Britain's stance on Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors' meetings.

He added that Britain has not been given a mission by the 5+1 group to make such statements in this meeting.

Chinese ambassador Wang Chen also confirmed Antonov' statements, saying, "The participants at London meeting welcomed diplomatic solutions, therefore the British representative's remarks are not consistent with the realities of the London meeting."

The Chinese ambassador also expressed hope that a comprehensive solution will be found for Iran's nuclear issue and negotiations will be resumed soon.

Russia slams British statement on Iran

Moscow, May 6, IRNA - Statements made by the UK foreign secretary following Iran-Six talks in London on May 2 do not reflect the opinion of all the participants, Russia's Foreign Ministry said according to RIA-Novosti news agency.

The veto-wielding powers engaged in the long-running nuclear talks with Iran - the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany - agreed last Friday to offer new sweeteners to Tehran.

Miliband did not reveal details of the new offer, but hoped Iran would "recognize the seriousness and the sincerity" of the new approach, but said that Tehran's uranium enrichment program 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 (Russia's) position," the ministry said in a statement.

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

Later on Monday, 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 today... by trying to say that we agreed on some tougher stance in relations with Iran," Lavrov said.

"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. Lavrov did not reveal details of the new proposals, saying Iran should be the first to know their contents.

The international negotiators proposed to Tehran in June 2006 cooperation in civilian nuclear technology, trade and other spheres in a bid to persuade Tehran to give up uranium enrichment and resume talks with the Iran-Six group.

The Islamic Republic has rejected the 2006 incentives. It has also defied three rounds of relatively mild UN Security Council sanctions imposed over its defiance of international demands to suspend uranium enrichment, technology needed for electricity generation and weapons production.

Iran's Supreme Leader Seyed Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated on Sunday that the country would push ahead with its nuclear program despite pressure from the West.

China urges diplomacy to solve dispute on Iran nuclear program

Beijing, May 6, IRNA - China's Foreign Ministry spokesman on Tuesday called for increased diplomatic endeavors by the 5+1 group to resolve the dispute about Iranian nuclear program.

At his weekly press conference, Qin Gang told reporters that his country is willing to see Iran's nuclear issue resolved through doubling the efforts by the five permanent UN Security Council members.

The five permanent United Nations Security Council members including China, the US, Russia, France and Britain plus Germany held ministerial meeting over Iran's nuclear program in London last Friday.

Gang said Iran as a member of NPT has right to peaceful nuclear program, adding that the 5+1 group should redouble their efforts to hold diplomatic talks on solving Iran's nuclear dispute.

He said that China is a signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty adding that China backs diplomatic talks on Iran's nuclear program and restoring peace and stability in the Middle East as well.

"China has made every effort to resume peace talks on Iran's nuclear question between the Group 5+1 and Iran."

... Payvand News - 05/06/08 ... --

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