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MOSCOW, April 18 (RIA Novosti) - The Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S.
ambassador in Moscow Tuesday to hand him a note of protest against a
seminar in Washington which it said called for new terrorist attacks
"The organization of such events in the United States contradicts
the country's international obligations in the sphere of
counter-terrorism," the ministry said.
A seminar entitled, Sadullaev's Caucasian Front: Prospects for
the Next Nalchik, took place in Washington on April 14 under the
aegis of Jamestown Foundation, an American non-governmental
organization. The Russian Foreign Ministry said the floor had been
given to speakers who called for new terrorist acts in Russia.
"Such concessions on the part of Washington to Chechen militants
and separatists also run counter to the spirit of partner-based
bilateral anti-terrorist cooperation, and damage bilateral
relations," the Russian ministry said.
In October 2005, at least 150 militants attacked administrative
buildings in the city of Nalchik, the capital of the North Caucasus
republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. Russian officials say that during
two days of fighting, 35 law-enforcement officers and 12 civilians
were killed. A total of 92 militants were killed and dozens
won't rule out nuclear strike on Iran
By Edmund Blair,Tue Apr 18, 11:36 AM ET
President Bush refused on Tuesday to rule out nuclear strikes
if diplomacy fails to curb the Islamic Republic's atomic ambitions.
Iran, which says its nuclear program is purely peaceful, told world
would pursue atomic technology, whatever they decide at a
meeting in Moscow
later in the day.
Bush said in Washington he would discuss Iran's nuclear activities
with China's President
Hu Jintao this week and avoided ruling out
nuclear retaliation if diplomatic efforts fail.
Asked if options included planning for a nuclear strike, Bush
replied: "All options are on
the table. We want to solve this issue
diplomatically and we're working hard to do so."
Speculation about a U.S. attack has mounted since a report in New
Yorker magazine said this
month that Washington was mulling the
option of using tactical nuclear weapons to knock out Iran's
subterranean nuclear sites.
The United States, which accuses Iran of seeking atom bombs, was
push for targeted sanctions against Tehran when it meets
the U.N. Security Council's
other permanent members -- Britain,
France, China and Russia -- plus Germany in Moscow.
Russia and China oppose sanctions and the use of force.
Deputy foreign ministers from the six nations are meeting ahead of
deadline for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
to report on
whether Iran is complying with U.N. demands that it
halt uranium enrichment.
"I recommend that they do not make hasty decisions, be prudent and
path in the past. Any time they have pressured Iran they
have got adverse
results," Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid
Reza Asefi said.
"Whatever the result of this meeting might be, Iran will not abandon
(to nuclear technology)," he added later.
Iran defied U.N. demands by declaring last week it had enriched
uranium to a level
used in power stations and was aiming for
industrial-scale production, ratcheting up
tensions and sending oil
prices to record highs above $72 a barrel.
The United States, which already enforces its own sweeping sanctions
on Iran, wants
the Security Council to be ready to take strong
diplomatic action, including
so-called targeted measures such as a
freeze on assets and visa curbs.
Washington says it does not want to embargo Iran's oil and gas
avoid creating hardship for the Iranian people. Iran
is the world's
fourth-biggest oil exporter.
CHINA, RUSSIA OPPOSE SANCTIONS
China, which sent an envoy to Iran on Friday to try to defuse the
repeated a call for a negotiated solution.
"We hope all sides will maintain restraint and flexibility," Chinese
Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in Beijing.
Russia restated its opposition to punitive action. "We are convinced
the sanctions route nor the use of force route will
lead to a solution of this
problem," Foreign Ministry spokesman
Mikhail Kamynin said, Itar-Tass news
U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, a member of the Senate Armed Services
told Israel's Jerusalem Post the United States probably
could not destroy Iran's
nuclear program but could attempt to set it
back by strikes as a last resort.
"I think the only justifiable use of military power would be an
deter the development of their nuclear program if we felt
there was no other
way to do it," he said.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaking at an annual
said the army was ready to defend the nation.
"It will cut off the hands of any aggressors and will make any
regret it," Ahmadinejad declared.
In Kuwait, former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said he
doubted the Americans would use force. "It is unlikely that they
enter into such a perilous situation from which they cannot
Iran says it will not drop its right to enrich uranium for peaceful
that it will work with the IAEA.
The U.N. nuclear watchdog says it has been unable to verify that
nuclear program is purely civilian, but has found no hard
proof of efforts
to build atomic weapons.
IAEA inspectors are due in Iran on Friday to visit nuclear sites,
one at Natanz where Iran says it has enriched uranium to
the level used in nuclear power plants.
IRNA news agency said Olli Heinonen, ElBaradei's deputy for
issues, would lead the team. One diplomat said his
presence suggested Iran
might provide some missing information.
Experts say it would take Iran years to produce enough highly
uranium for one bomb from its current 164 centrifuges. But
Iran says it
will to install 3,000 centrifuges, which could make
for a warhead in one year.
(Additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi and Alireza Ronaghi in
Guy Faulconbridge in Moscow, Mark Heinrich in Vienna)
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