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    BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S PRONOUNCEMENTS ABOUT IAEA REPORT ON IRAN LEAVE RUSSIA BEWILDERED

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    MOSCOW, May 21 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian government is bewildered by U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton's pronouncements about presenting the International Atomic Energy Agency's report on Iran to other members of the United Nations Security Council, the Foreign Ministry's PR department says in a press release.

    News agencies quote Bolton as saying that the United States and Russia both deem it expedient for the IAEA to present its report on Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program to the UN Security Council.

    Iran was indeed prominent on the May 20 U.S.-Russian consultations, but Iran-related issues were discussed in the context of preparations for the IAEA governing board's June session, the Foreign Ministry points out in the press release.

    "We are looking forward to the appearance of IAEA Director-General Mohammed El Baradei's next report about progress in the implementation of the Board of Governors' resolutions aimed at ensuring transparency of Iran's nuclear program," the ministry says. "We expect the report to contain an objective analysis of how cooperation between Iran and the IAEA is going. We also hope for a competent and unbiased review of matters in the implementation of resolutions on the part of the IAEA Board of Governors." "No understandings were reached by us and the U.S. delegation as to the IAEA turning to the UN Security Council since this issue was not even brought up at the consultations," the Russian Foreign Ministry explained.

    "As to the settlement of outstanding issues on the transparency of the Iranian program, we have believed and continue to believe that this can and must be done through the closest possible cooperation between Iran and the IAEA."

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