Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov i24NEWS

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister slammed the Israeli government's handling of the Iranian nuclear archive Thursday.

In April, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made a dramatic announcement that Israel had seized half a ton of documents from the secret archive in Tehran detailing Iran's nuclear program.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said in an interview with i24NEWS that Israel should have given the information over to the International Atomic Energy Agency. This is not the subject for a speech. It is the job of the IAEA that is supposed to examine this. It is a serious and professional organization."

He said Russia was unconcerned by the information which was revealed from the archive. "Maybe this is part of the information warfare, but seriously, the Israeli leadership told us later that there were three days to evacuate these sites and hide them. If this is the case, Israel would have to take a different approach and not work with journalists and what we call the megaphone diplomacy, Let's look seriously, now, today, not in New York. We would be ready to help. I think that the Iranian leadership is willing to help and test this, as well as the archives related to Iran's nuclear program."

"The archive had to go to the IAEA a long time ago," he added. "It's naive to think that only one country and only one secret service know something that no one else knows, that's my opinion"

Bogdanov also explained Russia's decision to recognize western Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"We notice that in our approach there are sometimes certain elements that appear illogical: You know that for many years we have recognized a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders and its capital in East Jerusalem, and we asked ourselves, 'What about West Jerusalem?' They say that East Jerusalem is the capital of a future Palestinian state, so according to logic West Jerusalem can be the capital of Israel."

Bogdanov added that "the leadership, the prime minister, the Knesset and all the government ministries are in Jerusalem, and I traveled every day from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to meet with government representatives, so we reached the logical conclusion that East Jerusalem, as you say, will be the capital of the Palestinian state and West Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, in accordance with logic, along with the understanding that the future of Jerusalem must be decided in the framework of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations."

When asked about the possibility of moving the Russian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Bogdanov said: "I think that the question of transferring the embassy is a technical question, but it needs to be resolved in a balanced way. We recognized East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state. Can we transfer our representation in Ramallah, which is still not an embassy in the full sense of East Jerusalem? In other words, we are trying to implement a balanced policy. If we move our embassy to West Jerusalem, which we recognized as the capital, then what will we do with East Jerusalem, which we recognized as the capital of the Palestinian state?"

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