Russia, Iran to coordinate Syria stand
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov today assured his Iranian counterpart that Russia was intent on stopping the situation from escalating to catastrophic proportions.
He also stressed that today’s meeting between with Hossein Amir-Abdullahian would be an opportunity to discuss the Syrian crisis and exchange opinions.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Monday that Russian and Iranian foreign chiefs might have a talk at the upcoming summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek.
This came today at a meeting with Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdullahian.
Mr. Bogdanov said presidents of the region’s two major powers were to meet at the SCO summit in September. “Mr. Lavrov is going to Bishkek. I guess your [foreign] minister will come along too,” he added.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has announced it has started a probe into risks that a possible US airstrike against Syria can pose to the country’s nuclear facilities.
The investigation came at request of Russia who voiced its concern of a nuclear threat that can arouse from a bomb strike on the Arab country.
Yukiya Amano, director general of the UN nuclear watchdog confirmed on Monday he had received a letter from Russia calling on the atomic authority to analyze the risks of a warhead striking Syria’s Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MNSR) near Damascus or other nuclear sites.
Mr. Amano stressed that the message had been circulated among IAEA’s members and was reviewed by the agency.
Russia’s foreign chief Sergei Lavrov earlier met with his Syrian counterpart, Walid al-Muallem, stressing there was no alternative to a peace settlement in Syria. “Russia’s stance is quite clear and does not change that easily,” Mr. Lavrov claimed.
It is "essential and urgent" that Iran finally allows UN inspectors to investigate alleged nuclear weapon development projects, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano said Monday in Vienna.
Amano's statement came ahead of the next round of talks between the IAEA and Iran on September 27 in Vienna, the first such meeting since the election of Iran's new president Hassan Rowhani in June.
The previous 10 rounds of talks held since 2012 did not result in IAEA access to suspect sites, documents and experts.
"Given the nature and extent of credible information available to the Agency about possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear programme, it remains essential and urgent for Iran to engage with us on the substance of our concerns," Amano said at the start of the IAEA governing board's annual September session.
Rowhani said Sunday that his country's nuclear programme was peaceful and that a solution with Western countries that suspect a military component could therefore be found quickly.
The Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Monday will gather for a regular session at its Vienna headquarters.
The experts are again expected to focus on the Iranian nuclear programme. In addition, the leadership of the agency will present a report on the level of safety of nuclear facilities in Syria in the face of a possible military strike against the country.
The traditional item on the agenda over the recent years is the quarterly report of the IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano on the progress of Iran’s nuclear programme.
The document, distributed at the end of August among the Agency’s member states that Itar-Tass has received, turns out to have a quieter tone than before. According to a diplomatic source, “it stated, in particular, that Iran continued to install centrifuges for uranium enrichment, bringing their number up to 15 thousand units, but the nuclear fuel reserves growth has slowed down, and their volumes do not exceed the set “red lines.”
“The report is drafted in a calm tone, the authors of the document tried to avoid sharp assessments in order not to create further tensions in the Agency’s relations with official Tehran,” the source said. According to him, the IAEA expects the first steps on the part of Iran after the election of a new president. That is why the “six” of the countries mediators on the settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue this time has no plans to make a joint statement and a resolution on Iran, which they traditionally prepare for each meeting of the Board of Governors. “This decision was taken in order not to create additional pressure on Iran after the change of the negotiating teams,” he explained.
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