MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia is urging restraint from the international community after a series of Iranian missile launches, a Foreign Ministry source told Interfax news agency on Monday.
The missile drills of the elite Revolutionary Guards coincide with escalating tension in Iran’s nuclear dispute with the West, after last week’s disclosure by Tehran that it is building a second uranium enrichment plant.
“We should not give way to emotions now,” the Russian foreign ministry source said. “We should try to calm down and the main thing is to launch a productive negotiations process (with Iran).”
European Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana said on Monday he was concerned after Iran test-fired a missile which defense analysts have said could hit Israel and U.S. bases in the Gulf.
Russia has not officially reacted so far to the Iranian missile launches. The foreign ministry regularly distributes unattributed information through domestic news agencies.
Iran tested missiles just days after reporting to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) it was constructing a second uranium enrichment plant -- a move that fueled international condemnation and fresh doubts about the nature of Tehran’s nuclear programme.
The ministry source said the international community should wait to see what Iranian officials say at a meeting in Geneva on Thursday with representatives of six major powers, including the United States, China and Russia before taking action.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday that if Iran does not cooperate at the meeting, then “other mechanisms” should be used to deal with Tehran’s nuclear programme.
Medvedev did not explicitly say whether Russia would support Western calls for sanctions against Iran.
“We await the results of the Geneva meeting... and we are counting on the Iranians not to come empty-handed,” the source said.
The source said there was a need to investigate the nature of the new enrichment plant south of Iran.
“It is necessary to check and undertake an impartial analysis” of the facility, the source said. “Only after this can any steps be taken.
“Common sense, not emotion should prevail now,” the source said.
Writing by Conor Humphries; Editing by Charles Dick
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