- IAEA - Iran - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - missile tests - nuclear Iran
AFP - The world should not "succumb to emotions" in dealing with Iran, a Russian foreign ministry source told Interfax news agency Monday, after Tehran tested missiles amid tensions with the West.
"Now is not the time to succumb to emotions, it is necessary to calm down and above all to start up an effective negotiation process," the source was quoted as saying by Interfax.
Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, would be key to Western efforts to push for tighter sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme.
The unnamed diplomat urged Iran to act constructively at a crucial meeting set for this Thursday of the six world powers negotiating with Tehran over its controversial nuclear programme.
"We are awaiting results from the Geneva meeting of the six parties, and are counting on the Iranians not to come to it with empty hands," he said.
Earlier on Monday, Iran tested missiles capable of hitting Israel and parts of Europe as the hardline Revolutionary Guards carried out war games amid increasing tensions with the West.
The missile tests came after last week's revelation that Iran had built a previously undisclosed uranium enrichment plant, which was condemned by countries around the world.
Reports about the site near the Iranian city of Qom must be "studied and subjected to an impartial analysis," the Russian foreign ministry source told Interfax, adding that "only after this can we take any sort of steps."
Separately, a top Russian general said that Iran's launches of its Sejil and Shahab-3 missiles had been monitored by the Russian-operated Gabala radar facility in Azerbaijan.
"The missile launches from Iranian territory are being monitored by our missile-attack warning system.... This is being done by the radar station in Gabala," General Nikolai Rodionov told the Interfax news agency.
Moscow has proposed that the Gabala radar facility could be used in a joint US-Russian missile defence system.
Rodionov, the former head of the Russian military's early-warning system, added that the Iranian missiles were capable of reaching the Russian city of Saratov, some 800 kilometers (500 miles) southeast of Moscow.
The United States and its allies fear that Iran is seeking to develop an atomic weapon, while Tehran denies the allegation and says its nuclear programme is purely civilian in nature.
Russia has traditionally resisted US calls for tougher sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme, but it joined in the global chorus of criticism last week over the revelation of the secret nuclear facility.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said during a visit to the United States last week that sanctions were sometimes "inevitable," signalling a possible shift in Moscow's position.