Russia urges Iran to work with UN nuke watchdog

7th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Russia urged Iran to allow United Nations inspectors access to its nuclear programme on Tuesday amid a new dispute between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"We exhort Iran to prove it is acting in good faith and to respond to the requests by the IAEA," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, after talks in Paris with his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner.

Moscow has traditionally been a wary ally of Tehran, and has helped the Islamic regime's efforts to develop civilian nuclear power, but has become increasingly frustrated with Iran's defiance of international oversight.

The IAEA -- the UN atomic watchdog -- released a new report on Monday accusing Iran of undermining and delaying a long-running investigation into its nuclear drive by vetoing the nomination of some inspectors.

Earlier this year, Iran banned two IAEA inspectors from entering the country, accusing them of filing a "false report."

The Iranian foreign ministry responded angrily on Tuesday, insisting it has a right of veto over UN personnel granted access to its facilities.

Many in the international community suspect Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons behind the facade of its civilian power programme and Tehran has been hit with international sanctions over its failure to negotiate.

© 2010 AFP

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