Russia shares IAEA’s goal of preventing Iran from producing nuclear arm

Russia's foreign minister on Thursday dismissed speculation that Moscow might join talks between Iran and European negotiators on Tehran's disputed nuclear program.

His comments followed a meeting earlier in the day with Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Their talks apparently addressed ways of resuming the talks between Britain, Germany and France, negotiating on behalf of the European Union, and Iran, which collapsed in August after Iran resumed uranium reprocessing work.

Washington says Iran's nuclear program is aimed at producing a nuclear bomb, but Tehran insists its program is intended to produce electrical power.

ElBaradei said he wanted to discuss creation of a system to ensure the peaceful uses of atomic energy and lower the risks of its improper use, RIA-Novosti reported.

Lavrov hailed the results of the IAEA's work in Iran, and said that Moscow was encouraging Iran to cooperate further.

Russia has said it shares the goal of preventing Iran from achieving a nuclear arms capability but differs on the tactics. Moscow has been at the center of the dispute since it is building a US$800 million (Ђ600 million) nuclear reactor in the Iranian city of Bushehr that is scheduled for launch by the end of 2006. AM

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