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April 13-14 talks on Iran arouse skepticism – Duma committee chairman

April 06, 2012, 19:44 UTC+3

A senior Russian legislator sees certain reasons for skepticism about the forthcoming talks on Iran the sextet of international mediators

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MOSCOW, April 6 (Itar-Tass) —— A senior Russian legislator sees certain reasons for skepticism about the forthcoming talks on Iran the sextet of international mediators (five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) will be holding in Istanbul on April 13-14.

“If the situation involving Iran follows the worst case scenario – and there are pre-requisites for that – the State Duma will consider a statement on the Iranian situation, too, which is very important for us,” the chairman of the State Duma’s foreign affairs committee, Alexei Pushkov, said on Friday. He was speaking at a round-table conference Iranian Issue and Russia’s Foreign Policy.

He recalled that on the table there were several scenarios, including the so-called ‘military’ one.

“Judging by what some countries have been saying, this is getting ever more likely,” Pushkov said. “Naturally, it arouses great concern.”

“A great deal will depend on the talks that are to be held on April 13-14,” the legislator said. ‘Naturally, every would like to hope the talks will be productive.”

“However there exists certain skepticism. Despite the intensive diplomatic efforts over the Iranian nuclear program tensions tend to get worse, and not ease,” he said. “It should not be ruled out that the same will happen again.”

“For Russia it is important to know if 2012 becomes a year of new war,” the head of the State Duma’s international affairs committee said. “All recent wars were initiated approximately from the same center and they occurred with amazing regularity.”

“Had Russia not used its right of veto over the Syrian resolution with China’s support, it should not be ruled out that the military scenario would have been implemented in Syria,” he said.

“Also, we are anxious about the intentions of the Iranian side. As far as I understand, there is no firm evidence of advanced work on nuclear weapons. All evidence is circumstantial,” the legislator said. “Nevertheless, the question exists what is it Iran is really after. Does it want to become a nuclear power, a threshold state with technologies for the production of nuclear weapons, or a country that does not make nuclear weapons and is focused entirely on civilian projects.”

“And the third question. What should Russia do in a situation like this? There are various forms of influencing events – diplomatic and political. Also there are sanctions,” Pushkov said. “Up to this day Russia has firmly rejected the so-called military scenario and everything that has been said by Russian officials indicates that we shall be prepared to support various forms of letting our point of view and the position of our partners known to Iran except for the military one,” he confirmed.

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