UN’s Iran Report May Contain ‘Political Dishonesty,’ Russia Says

Russia said it suspects “political dishonesty” in a United Nations report on Iran’s nuclear program, whose contents may hinder negotiations with the Persian Gulf country.

Russia suspects the authors of some of the comments in the report of “political dishonesty and pursuing goals that have nothing to do with the task of eliminating the well-known concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program,” according to an e- mailed statement sent by the Moscow-based ministry before the report was released late yesterday.

Allegations contained in the report about a Russian scientist date back 10 years and amount to “nothing new or sensational,” the ministry said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s report on Iran’s nuclear work concluded for the first time that Iran is working toward nuclear weapons. It said the Persian Gulf country used information from a Russian scientist.

The timing is “wrong” for the report, a Foreign Ministry official in Moscow said earlier yesterday by phone, declining to be identified in line with government policy. The document dwells on the past and its publication would “without a doubt, strain the atmosphere,” the official said.

The scientist in question is Ukrainian, the official said, declining to elaborate.

‘Extremely Dangerous’

A warning by Israel about a possible military strike against Iran is “extremely dangerous rhetoric” and the situation in the Middle East is showing no progress, President Dmitry Medvedev said yesterday in Berlin.

Russia continues to urge Iran to display responsible behavior, he said, adding that a “militarist wave” in the region may lead to “very complicated consequences.”

Israeli President Shimon Peres, speaking on the country’s Channel Two television Nov. 4., said the possibility of using force to halt the Iranian program was drawing nearer as the country moved closer to acquiring nuclear weapons.

“In the time that remains, we must urge the other nations of the world to act, and tell them that it’s time to stand behind the promise that was made to us, to fulfill their responsibility, whether that means serious sanctions or whether it means a military operation,” Peres said.

‘Serious Mistake’

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Moscow Nov. 7 that an Israeli military strike against Iran would be a “serious mistake fraught with unpredictable consequences.”

Russia won’t accept any pressure on Iran that aims to topple the government, a senior Foreign Ministry official told reporters last week, asking not to be named in line with government policy.

“I think you need to exhale, calm down and continue a constructive discussion of all issues of the Mideast agenda -- Iran’s nuclear program and all other issues -- and not threaten the use of force in this situation ,” Medvedev said yesterday. “It may end up in a big war and this will be a catastrophe for the Mideast.”

Lavrov said a Russian offer to resolve the dispute by lifting sanctions in stages in return for Iranian cooperation on inspections was “still on the negotiating table,” adding that he hoped “no actions will be taken that could destroy these chances.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Ilya Arkhipov in Moscow at iarkhipov@bloomberg.net; Lyubov Pronina in Berlin at lpronina@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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