Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni met with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Thursday in Moscow, the two discussed the tightening of sanctions on Iran and the incessant Qassam rocket fire towards Israel from Hamas-controlled Gaza.
The three-hour meeting was held ahead of an upcoming round of talks between the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany, scheduled for late January.
Speaking at the Russian Foreign Ministry's Diplomatic Academy, Livni said, ''I would like to see the translation of the understanding that the world cannot afford an Iran with nuclear weapons into more-effective sanctions at the United Nations Security Council.''
But though Lavrov assured that Moscow was partaking in the effort to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, Livni told her colleague that it is inconceivable for Russia to be shipping nuclear fuel to Iran while Tehran continued to enrich uranium.
Livni told the audience that with the shipment of Russian nuclear fuel ''the resumption of enrichment could serve only military purposes.''
Livni with Lavrov in Moscow (Photo: AP)
''Iran's ideology borders on madness,'' she said. ''It could have a domino effect on other states in the region that would strive to get nuclear technologies.''
She later told reporters that Israel and the international community stood for resolving the issue through sanctions and cooperation: ''We have discussed this issue at our talks today.''
Lavrov said that Moscow continues to believe the International Atomic Energy Agency should play the primary role in resolving the standoff and that punitive UN sanctions were a bad idea. He said Russia was committed to a ''political-diplomatic settlement'' of the dispute.
Lavrov condemned the continuing rocket attacks against Israel's south: "Women, children and the elderly should not be living under the threat of missiles. This must stop."
Livni said in response that while terrorists "seek out women, the elderly and children," the IDF "only aims its weapons towards terrorists."
AP contributed to this report