Putin instructs ministry to seek diplomacy

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Manju Shukla
Date  10 May 2012
Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed the country’s Foreign Ministry to examine, find and promote ways for an ‘exclusively diplomatic’ settlement of the dispute over Iran’s nuclear energy program.

According to a presidential decree, On Measures to Implement the Russian Federation Foreign Policy signed by Putin, the Russian Foreign Ministry has been instructed to seek a settlement for the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program relying exclusively on political and diplomatic means.

The executive order “aims to implement a coherent foreign policy of the Russian Federation that would protect its national interests,” according to the official website of the Russian president.

The development comes as Iran and the P5+1 group of nations- Britain, China, France, Russia, and the US plus Germany - are engaged in negotiations.

The latest round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 was held in the Turkish city of Istanbul on April 14. Both sides hailed the discussions as constructive.

The next round of the negotiations is scheduled to take place in the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad on May 23, 2012.

The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program. Washington and Tel Aviv have time and again threatened Tehran with the "option" of a military strike against its civilian nuclear facilities.

Iran argues that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

The IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence indicating that Tehran's nuclear energy program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production

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