ASTANA - Russia urged Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday to be "more constructive" in his cooperation with global powers on nuclear issues, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
Ahmadinejad met Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev after a meeting of a regional security bloc in the Kazakh capital Astana. Ahmadinejad, during his short speech at the meeting, slammed the West, the U.S., and Israel for causing instability and violence in the Middle East.
Despite the Iranian president's biting speech, the Russian foreign minister said that he had encouraged Ahmadinejad to work more closely and openly with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in their nuclear ambitions.
"We raised the question with Ahmadinejad about the necessity of more constructive cooperation with 5+1 and, more importantly, about increasing the transparency of contacts between Iran and the IAEA," Lavrov told reporters.
The 5+1 refers to the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany.
Earlier Wednesday at the meeting, Ahmadinejad launched into a brutal attack of the West at a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on Wednesday, mentioning Zionism as one of history’s worst ills.
He said that 60 plus years of Zionism has brought only humiliation and destruction to the Palestinians and the region.
But Israel got off easy in Ahmadinejad’s tirade, viciously attacking the U.S. and the West for a long litany that includes slavery, colonizations, the pillaging of Africa, World War I and II and numerous wars since then, dropping a nuclear bomb on defenseless civilians, and creating the atmosphere leading to 9/11 which he said was the pretext for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which he said has cost some 1 million casualties.
The other leaders at the conference, including Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and the leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan,Tajikistan, India, Pakistan, and Mongolia, sat impassively during his comments.
Each leader at the conference, marking the 10 years since the founding of the regional security organization that presents itself as counterbalance to NATO, spoke briefly and — with Ahmadinejad’s short exception — steered wide of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict or the current upheaval in the Middle east. The leaders also made no mention of Iran’s nuclear threat.
China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan are full members of the organization, which promotes economic, military, and security cooperation. Iran, Pakistan, India, and Mongolia enjoy observer status.
Because of UN sanctions against it, Iran is presently barred from joining as a full member.
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