The Islamic Republic government today indicated it is willing to entertain a proposal from Russia that would see Iran cooperate with international nuclear officials.
Ramin Mehmanparast, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said: “We have not yet received the proposal but will review it once we get it.”
He added: “If different countries are trying to resolve Iran’s nuclear issues, they must approach it by a path that recognizes the rights of the Iranian people.”
Last Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced a “step by step” plan to encourage Iran to respond to questions from the International Atomic Energy Agency. That same day he delivered the plan to his U.S. counterpart, Hilary Clinton, adding that he had also presented China with the proposal.
Clinton said the U.S. is willing to consider “more effective” means of dealing with Iran’s nuclear activities.
Today’s statement from Iran’s Foreign Ministry comes after the Iranian Parliament had condemned the Russian proposal, calling it a “return to the starting point.” Parliament insisted that Iran has already responded to all IAEA questions, and making new conditions for resuming negotiations is unacceptable.
The Russian plan proposes to start by asking basic questions about Iran’s nuclear program and gradually progressing toward more complicated ones that require more time for response. At every step, Russia proposes, Iran would be rewarded by acts of mutual reconciliation: for example, the lifting of international sanctions.
The U.S. and other western countries insist that Iran’s nuclear program could be a front for military objectives.
Iran repeatedly has said that its nuclear program is peaceful and dedicated to energy production.