AFP: Iran’s announcement that it has successfully enriched uranium shows that Tehran has chosen to confront the West and is a cruel rebuff to Moscow, which has tried to accommodate the Islamic republic, Russian newspapers commented Thursday. MOSCOW, April 13, 2006 (AFP) – Iran’s announcement that it has successfully enriched uranium shows that Tehran has chosen to confront the West and is a cruel rebuff to Moscow, which has tried to accommodate the Islamic republic, Russian newspapers commented Thursday.
Tehran “demonstratively gave its negotiating partners a slap in the face,” the opposition daily Kommersant said.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s declaration “is a continuation of the course of provocation towards the West which the president has opted for since the very beginning of his mandate,” the paper added.
With that declaration, the Iranians “took a new step in their war of nerves” with the international community, the centrist daily Izvestia said.
The blow was particularly severe for Russia, which had all along stuck to a soft approach with Tehran, the papers said.
“Tehran’s announcement must be particularly painful to Russia. Indeed the news that it began enrichment on its own in effect puts an end to Russia’s mediation efforts,” Kommersant wrote.
The anouncement “puts an end to recent and seemingly fruitful negotiations aimed at setting up a Russian-Iranian uranium enrichment joint venture on Russian soil,” the government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta agreed.
In fact, “it seems that Moscow was alone in believing… Tehran’s assurances on the purely civilian nature of its nuclear program,” the opposition daily Gazeta commented.
However, Izvestia quoted a Russian nuclear expert pointing out that “enriching uranium does not yet mean a bomb.”
Even “weapons grade highly enriched uranium does not yet mean a nuclear bomb. You need technologies to synchronize the movements of neutron fluxes. And no one will sell those technologies, even on the black market, you have to devise them yourself” says Andrei Gagarinsky, deputy director of the Kurchatov Institute.