[credit provider=”Wikimedia Commons” url=”http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vladimir_Putin_in_Iran_16-17_October_2007-5.jpg”]
At a Moscow press conference today, Iran’s foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, announced that his country was ready to restart nuclear talks based on a Russian proposal. In fact, they “welcome” them, reports Ria Novsoti.Via Ria Novosti:
“This proposal is very important,” Ali Akbar Salehi told reporters in Moscow. “We agree that talks on the Iranian nuclear issue should be restarted, but we will not accept any pressure.”
He also added that he saw good points in the proposal, as obligations are put on all sides.
Salehi is meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov about resuming six-party (US, Russia, Britain, France, China, and Germany) nuclear talks that have been suspended since January. The United States and other nations accused Iran of using its nuclear program to build nuclear weapons. Iran responded with denial, but would not allow United Nations investigators to survey their operation.
The details of Russia’s proposal are unknown, but it is meant to be a step-by-step process in which Iran slowly makes its nuclear activities more transparent. According to the New York Times/AP, the United States helped in the writing of the proposal.
A spokesman for the State Department, Victoria Nuland, said that American diplomats had worked with the Russians on the proposal. “What we are looking for from Iran has not changed,” Ms. Nuland said Monday. “We welcome any Russian effort to persuade Iran that it’s time to change course and meet its international obligations.”
Russia’s relationship with Iran is a bit cozier than the rest of the world’s. It helped Iran build its first nuclear power plant, The Bushehr Power Plant, which despite delays, is set to open “soon”, according to Salehi.