Monday, December 13, 2004

Russia’s role in global affairs less than expected: Rafsanjani


"Russia’s role in global affairs less than expected: Rafsanjani
TEHRAN, Dec. 12 (MNA) -- Expediency Council Chairman Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said here Sunday that the role Russia was playing in global affairs was far less than what was expected of the country in view of its position in the world.
In a meeting with Russian Federation Council Chairman Sergei Mironov, Rafsanjani touched on bilateral cooperation and regional and international issues.

It seems that the implementation of several Iran-Russia agreements such as the Bushehr nuclear power plant faces further delays, he said, adding that Iran expects the agreements to be implemented more rapidly.

Referring to the two countries' political, economic and commercial potentials including oil and gas resources, Rafsanjani said that the region holds the biggest and most important natural resources.

Unfortunately these vast potentials are not used efficiently while Western countries use any means within their disposal to achieve their desired goals, the EC chairman stated.

Pointing to Russia's performance in Afghanistan, Central Asia and Caucasus, Rafsanjani said that the current situation in Ukraine is alarming.

The U.S., despite its friendly gestures, continues to pursue the objectives of the Cold War and is trying to enter strategic regions under the pretext of fighting terrorism in order to gain access to oil, the Iranian former president commented.

Rafsanjani also noted that Russia has lost many opportunities in Balkans, adding “The U.S. intends to infiltrate the Caspian Sea to gain oil.”

He stressed that Iran-Russia cooperation could prevent many such events and urged the two sides to strengthen their regional cooperation to defend peace, stability and justice in the region.

Tehran expected Moscow to adopt a firmer stance in regard to Iran’s legal right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, Rafsanjani stressed.

He suggested that a proper framework to be established to facilitate a closer relationship between the two countries, noting that this cooperation would have a significant effect in global affairs.

Sergei Mironov, for his part, praised Iran's stances on international issues, saying the two sides have mutual concerns on many issues.

He added that a new timeframe has been set for completion of the Bushehr power plant.

Urging joint use of natural resources, he expressed his country's readiness to bolster regional, oil and gas cooperation with Iran."

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