Russia will not trade support for the hard U.S. position on Iran for Washington 's approval for Moscow to join the World Trade Organization, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was quoted as saying in an interview published Monday.
"You know, we will not exchange what should belong to us by right for anything," Lavrov told the Vremya Novostei daily after returning from talks in the United States last week.
In the interview, Lavrov also criticized the U.S. stance toward Tehran , accusing Washington of using the nuclear crisis "to solve some political tasks in their relations with the (current) regime."
Lavrov called again for the main players in the crisis Russia , the United States , France , Germany , Britain and China to meet with Mohamed ElBaradei, the chief of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, in Vienna and he insisted that ElBaradei's agency remain central to solving the crisis.
"But sometimes our Western partners propose acting according to this logic: since there's not clarity (in Iran 's nuclear program) then let's put on pressure more quickly and impose sanctions," Lavrov said.
Russia 's atomic energy chief, Sergei Kiriyenko, said Monday that Russia 's proposal to enrich uranium for Iran on Russian territory remains open. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi had said Sunday that Tehran would no longer consider the Russian proposal.
" Russia believes that Iran , like any other state, has the right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, but the global community has the right to demand guarantees of nonproliferation. Russia has made its offer to combine these two positions," Kiriyenko said.
"The Russian proposal has and will remain, and it's not going to change. Attempts to extract just certain fragments of it won't work."
Russia has made its enrichment offer contingent on Tehran suspending its own enrichment effort, but Iranian officials have rejected the link.
Iran insists its program is only for generating electricity, but the U.S. claims Tehran has been working to build a bomb for more than a decade. Britain and France are also skeptical of the Iranians, and the IAEA, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, says it has serious questions about Iran 's program, reports the AP.
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