BUT NO WAR, NO SANCTIONS, NOT YET, SAYS PUTIN, "MORE NEGOTIATIONS"
Iran has managed to stall the United States for well over 14 months as it continues to develop its nuclear industry, and enriching uranium. The United States, the UK, and Australia, says Iran wants nuclear weapons. Iran says it wants a peaceful nuclear energy program, and Russia has supplied at least one of the nuclear power plants that will allow it to do so.
But now Russian President Putin has announced that he may be prepared to take a harder line against Iran in the coming weeks, or months.
From the UK Independent :
President Vladimir Putin said Russia had called on Iran to give up its uranium enrichment programme, and that he had personally spoken to Iran's President Ahmadinejad "in frank terms" several times.Russia Will Move Forward With Plans To Construct Nuclear Plant In Iran
While stressing that the nuclear issue was broader than just Iran, and needed to be tackled internationally, he said Iran was a particular case. Not only was it the only country to have called for the destruction of another - Israel - but the whole region was volatile.
Russia wanted further consultations with the other countries in the group negotiating with Iran: the EU three - Britain, France and Germany - the US and China, and further talks with Iran, said Mr Putin. Only then should any decision be taken about how to proceed. If sanctions could be avoided, "so much the better".
While still clearly reluctant to broach UN sanctions, Mr Putin's phrasing suggested that Russia's prime concern was for the six negotiating countries to maintain their united front, and that it would no longer rule out sanctions completely.
Iran And The EU Says Deadline Talks On Nuke Issues Were "Constructive"
Iran Claims Controversial Nuclear Power Plant Is Under Full Supervision Of International Atomic Energy Association
Iran's President Continues To Challenge President Bush To Live, Televised Debate