AFP: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on the United States to be as “flexible” with Iran on its nuclear programme as it had been with North Korea, Russian news agencies reported Wednesday.
MOSCOW, Feb 14, 2007 (AFP) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on the United States to be as “flexible” with Iran on its nuclear programme as it had been with North Korea, Russian news agencies reported Wednesday.
“I want to stress the efforts taken by the American side, perhaps going too far in some ways, to find a reasonable compromise with Pyongyang, which allowed for a breakthrough in the six-way talks,” Lavrov told the Interfax agency.
The pact with North Korea — reached after marathon six-country talks Tuesday between China, Japan, North and South Korea, Russia and the United States — aims to end the crisis over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programs.
Concerning the Iranian nuclear programme, he told the Interfax and Ria Novosti agencies: “One would like to see the same flexibility, a reasonable flexibility but not at the expense of the principles of non-proliferation.”
Lavrov, talking to reporters on a flight between New Delhi and Abu Dhabi, called on the Security Council to make a more creative approach with Iran.
“Resolutions and sanctions are not the things they should be concentrating on. They should be concentrating on a solution to what for the moment is a intractable situation, and creating the conditions for the opening of talks.”
Speaking to Ria Novosti, he added: “If a new resolution contributes to the opening of negotiations, we will support it. If it requires an unusual decision, we will support such an approach.”
The UN Security Council imposed sanctions against Iran last December after talks between Tehran and the European Union collapsed over Tehran’s refusal to suspend uranium enrichment.
Enriched uranium can be used not just for civilian power reactors but also to make an atom bomb.
Tuesday’s agreement with Pyongyang calls for North Korea to close key nuclear facilities within 60 days in exchange for energy aid and US diplomatic concessions.
But the country’s official media say the pact requires only a temporary shut-down.