ITAR-TASS News Agency
July 6, 2004 Tuesday

Russia opposes foreign interference in Middle East

By Viktor Lebedev

DUBAI, July 6
Russia opposes any interference from the outside in the affairs of
the Middle East countries. Countries of that region are capable of
upholding their security on their own. There is no need for foreign
and military presence in the region, Igor Ivanov, head of the Russian
Security Council said at a meeting with chairman of the Iranian
National Security Council Hasan Rouhani in Teheran.

Ivanov, who arrived in the Iranian capital on Monday for discussing
some problems of regional and international security with Iranian
leaders, spoke in favour of a further development and consolidation
of political relations between Moscow and Teheran, especially in the
present-day international situation and following the latest
developments in the region, in the interests of the settlement of
regional problems, of the restoration of stability and security.

Ivanov said the building of a nuclear power plant in Bousher with
Russian assistance would be completed in 2005. It will be put in
operation in 2006. He described the projects for the building of oil
pipelines from Iran to Armenia, Pakistan and India as "projects of
major strategic importance" and reaffirmed Russia's willingness to
cooperate with Iran in that sphere. Ivanov welcomed Teheran's
cooperation with international organisations in the sphere of a
peaceful use of atomic energy.

In his turn, Hasan Rouhani opposed the attempts of the NATO countries
to ensure their presence in the Caspian Sea area and stressed it ran
counter to the interests of countries of that region and created a
threat for their security. He said the Caspian Sea countries should
cooperate in the sphere of security and suggested the holding of
meetings of heads of their security councils in the interests of
strengthening peace.

Hasan Rouhani described the Bousher nuclear power plant as "a vivid
example of technical cooperation" between Iran and Russia.