World News

Russia tells Iran: come clean over weapons work

YEKATERINBURG, Russia (Reuters) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday he wanted an explanation from Tehran over the “military components” of Iran’s nuclear programme.

“I would like to say that Iran is our rather active trading partner and has been tested by time, but that does not mean we are indifferent to the way Iran is developing its nuclear programme and we are not indifferent to how the military components of the corresponding programme look,” Medvedev said.

“In this respect, we are waiting for the appropriate explanations from Iran,” he said.

“The information we are getting -- it comes from open channels and reports from the secret services -- shows these programmes are developing ... and Iran must find the courage to start fully fledged cooperation with the international community,” Medvedev said.

The U.S. administration of President Barack Obama has made a priority of winning Russian support for a tougher line toward Iran, which Western countries suspect of seeking nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear programme is peaceful.

Russia, which is building Iran’s first nuclear power plant, voted to tighten sanctions against Iran last month in the U.N. Security Council, and Medvedev said this week Tehran was gaining the ability to make nuclear weapons.

Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Peter Graff