West seeking to undercut Iran-Russia diplomatic ties: ambassador
Tehran's ambassador to Moscow, Mahmoud Reza Sajjadi, says the West is seeking to undermine diplomatic relations between Iran and Russia, Tehran Times reported.
"Over the past 20 years one of the West's priorities has been to create disagreements, and sow discord between us and Russia," Sajjadi said in an exclusive interview with the Mehr News Agency.
He also said, "We have never used capabilities and potential of this power (Russia)."
Moscow never approved of unilateral sanctions on Iran
In addition to UN Security Council Resolution 1929 against Tehran, certain countries, mainly the U.S. allies, moved to adopt unilateral sanctions against Iran.
The ambassador said Russia has never approved of unilateral sanctions and has not put any limitation on bilateral cooperation with Tehran in all areas especially in oil, gas, mine and transportation.
However, the Iranian and Russian governments have not taken major steps for cooperation, Tehran's top diplomat to Moscow lamented.
The reason is that the governments of the two countries have not fully recognized the potential for further cooperation, he opined.
Russia softened the language of 1929 Resolution
He said even though Russia voted for the Resolution 1929, it toned down the language of this resolution and the previous ones.
The U.S. and Europe tried to impose a more comprehensive sanctions resolution on Iran and deal a shattering blow to Iran's economy but Russia and China prevented it, he explained.
However, the diplomat said Russia should not be influenced by wrong information, which is spread against Iran by enemies, adding there is nothing that Russia should be worried about.
80 percent of Russians like Iran
He said according to an opinion poll, which was broadcast by Radio Moscow, over 80 percent of Russians have a positive view of Iran.
It is not only Russia which delayed startup of Bushehr plant
On repeated delays to complete the Bushehr nuclear power plan, he said it is not fair to blame only Russia for the delay.
At least one-year delay was because of the U.S. pressure on Ukraine to not manufacture turbine for the plan and Russia had do establish another production line in San Petersburg for the purpose, but this issue has never been mentioned in the media, the ambassador told the MNA.
Iran and Russia had signed a deal to purchase some equipment needed for the plant from other countries thus agreements were signed with some Asian and European companies, but after months of delay those companies announced they could not deliver the equipment because of the Western pressure, he stated.
"Of course after the collapse of the Soviet Union and because of some problems, Russians could not fully live up to their commitment and there was no political reason behind it. Perhaps, it could be said that political reasons delayed the delivery of fuel (for the Bushehr plant) for (only) six months ... and the issue was resolved following Putin's visit to Iran," he stated.
He added that in some cases Russia even has gone beyond its commitments to Iran. For example, he said Moscow undertook to employ 800 people in the Bushehr plant, while 2500 workers hired there.
Sajjadi also said that Russia is more suitable for nuclear cooperation with Iran.