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AMBASSADOR'S ARTICLES

11.12.2013

Lavrov's Iran visit: Building on Geneva nuclear agreement (by Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to UK, for Russia Today)

Russia’s Foreign Minister is on his first visit to Iran since President Rouhani took office. Consistent implementation of the key Geneva agreement on the Iranian nuclear program is paving the way to regional stability and international security.

The Geneva agreement on the Iranian nuclear program allows us to address some of the most pressing concerns about the nature and direction of Iran's nuclear activities. The Joint Action Plan, adopted by the P5+1 and Iran, includes specific measures aimed at enhancing transparency, to be undertaken in close cooperation with the IAEA.

In parallel with the implementation of the first steps, the sides are to continue the work on a final and comprehensive agreement. It provides for full use of the inalienable rights of Iran as a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It also suggests a gradual weakening of anti-Iranian sanctions regime.

The progress on the nuclear program will now depend on the implementation of the Geneva agreement. We hope that all sides will retain the constructive approach and demonstrate the political will to enter the final negotiations aimed at the full restoration of international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear activities.

Russia has always been an advocate of a peaceful solution to the Iranian nuclear problem. Our position has always been clear: a negotiated diplomatic solution has no plausible alternative.

The Geneva agreement will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the overall regional situation in the Middle East, including promotion of a WMD-Free Zone and overcoming the dangerous trend towards use of force and violence in the region. We hope to see an improved atmosphere in the relations of Iran with its Arab neighbors and Israel.

Iran can make a positive contribution to finding a solution to the Syria crisis. In preparation for the international conference on Syria, ‘the Geneva-2’, Russia believes that all states of influence in the region, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, should take part.

Yet the Russian-Iranian agenda goes far beyond the immediate regional priorities. Preparations for the 2014 Caspian Summit, cooperation on Afghanistan, including countering the drug threat, and intense economic exchanges are among the many examples where Moscow and Tehran can reach arrangements beneficial for both sides, as well as for the wider international community.




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On 4 March 2018 two Russian citizens Sergei and Yulia Skripal were reportedly poisoned in Salisbury, Wiltshire with the toxic chemical named A-234 under the British classification. On 12 March Foreign Secretary Johnson summoned me to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and said that Russia was “highly likely” responsible for the attack. He invited us to respond by the next day, whether this had been a direct act by the state or Russia had lost control over this nerve agent. The incident had international repercussions, including expulsion of 150 Russian diplomats from 28 countries, notwithstanding the fact that the charges were based on assumptions and unverifiable intelligence. The Western countries lost the same number of Moscow-based staff. Meanwhile, the British government provided no evidence either to the public, its allies or Russia. Subsequent events revealed that no proof of Russia’s involvement existed. On 1 May, National Security adviser Sir Mark Sedwill confirmed that (despite a number of previous leaks) no suspect had been identified, a statement that speaks for itself.


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