Russia smacking its forehead over support for Iranian nuke programme

Publish date: February 13, 2008

Mere days after supplying Iran with the final batch of uranium it needs to bring the Russian built reactor in Bushehr Iran online, Moscow has denounced Tehran for constantly flexing its new nuclear muscle in the form of indigenous uranium enrichment and developing rocket and missile technologies.

Comments yesterday from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov seem to indicated Moscow is having a cathartic moment about having become the world’s biggest booster for Iranian nuclear technology

"We don’t approve of Iran’s permanent demonstration of its intentions to develop its rocket sector and continue to enrich uranium," Lavrov was quoted by the RIA Novosti and Interfax news agencies as saying.

"It’s impossible to ignore the fact that problems with Iran’s nuclear programme have arisen in recent years. While they haven’t been resolved it would be better to refrain from actions that raise tensions and create the impression Iran is ignoring the international community," he said.

Lavrov, who was speaking en route from an EU-Russia meeting in Ljubljana, said it was necessary for all sides in talks on Iran to concentrate on resolving the matter at hand rather than being guided by "considerations connected to the political agenda of the day," ITAR-TASS reported.

Earlier this month Iran fired a rocket into space to mark the opening of its first space center, hailing the base’s inauguration as a step in its battle against what it sees as Western dominance.

Meanwhile Tehran has continued to enrich uranium, despite the fact that Russia has already shipped Iran all the uranium it needs to operate the Bushehr reactor on the Persian Gulf.

Western countries suspect that Iran’s stated aim of developing nuclear power may be a cover for an atomic weapons programme, something Tehran denies.