Comments made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Russia's policy towards the Islamic Republic are unacceptable, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday.
Ahmadinejad said Saturday that Moscow is taking its cue from Western countries, whose policies are aimed at isolating Iran. The comments were a reaction to a recent statement made by Russia that the Islamic Republic could soon get hold of the potential to create nuclear weapons.
"The recent public statements by Iranian President Ahmadinejad, which distort Russia's objective approach and our independent, constructive policy towards the Iranian nuclear program..., are absolutely unacceptable to us," the ministry said.
"We believe that instead of fruitless and irresponsible rhetoric, the Iranian leadership should take specific, constructive steps towards settling the situation as soon as possible, which Russia and the Iran Six have been insistently calling for," it said.
The West suspects Iran of pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program but Tehran says it needs nuclear power solely for civilian purposes. International pressure on Iran increased in early February when the country announced it had begun enriching uranium to 20% in lieu of an agreement on an exchange that would provide it with fuel for a research reactor.
On June 9, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1929 imposing a fourth set of sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, including tougher financial controls and an expanded arms embargo.
Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has long opposed sanctions against the Islamic Republic, saying that the issue should be resolved through diplomatic means. However, Moscow finally approved the sanctions after Iran failed to prove the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities.
The Russian Foreign Ministry also said Monday that Russia hopes for the soonest possible resumption of dialogue between Iran and the group of six international mediators (Russia, the United States, China, France, Britain and Germany).
MOSCOW, July 26 (RIA Novosti)