Key European governments turned up the pressure on Iran over its nuclear plans, giving Tehran a November deadline to allay concern it is secretly making &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/printed.html?news_id=12737' target=_blank> atomic weapons.
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer warned Iran it faces "serious" consequences unless it fulfils a pledge to stop uranium enrichment for alleged military purposes.
His French counterpart Michel Barnier confirmed that Britain, France and Germany -- who have spearheaded Europe's diplomatic offensive over Iran -- were seeking a draft resolution from the UN's nuclear watchdog, the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Barnier did not rule out that the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2003/01/16/42143.html ' target=_blank>IAEA would bring Iran before the UN Security Council if Tehran refused to cooperate, as the United States has been urging, but expressed hope that a political solution was possible, says Channel News Asia.
The Russian stand on Iran is consistent and non-fluctuating. It is based on resolutions of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which offer a plan for lifting concerns about Iran's nuclear activities, Russian Deputy &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/2003/10/25/50770.html ' target=_blank> Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak told Itar-Tass in Geneva on Friday.
Kislyak attended a two-day meeting of the G8 working group on non-proliferation, disarmament, nuclear security and anti-terrorist measures.
"The entire scale of the non-proliferation program (adopted by presidents at a summit in Sea Island) was discussed," Kislyak said.
"All questions about the secret activities (of Iran) must be lifted in cooperation between Iran and the IAEA. Much has already been done. Iran has said many times that all atomic programs are peaceful," Kislyak said. He hopes that all concerns will be resolved eventually "through cooperation with IAEA, Agency member countries.", the Tehran Times reported.
According to the Xinhua News, the IAEA kicked off its governors' meeting in Vienna on Monday to discuss Iran's nuclear issue again.
On Sunday, France, Germany and Britain submitted a draft resolution to the meeting, urging Iran to halt all of the activities related to uranium enrichment and setting a November deadline for the Islamic Republic.
The United States, accusing Iran of secretly developing atomic weapons, is trying to prompt the IAEA to refer Iran's case to the United Nations Security Council.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a briefing in Beijing that the question about the shipment of S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria had not been resolved yet. However, Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad said that S-300 missile systems had been delivered to Syria last month
Representatives of the Israeli Defence Ministry responded to recent reports about the possible delivery of S-300 SAM systems from Russia to Syria. Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel would destroy those systems