Russia hints it won’t back sanctions for Iran


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

Sept. 1, 2006, 10:04PM

Russia hints it won't back sanctions for defiant Iran

Moscow stymies bid by the U.S. to punish Tehran for missing deadline on nuclear 

New York Times

MOSCOW ‹ Russia on Friday cast new doubt on the prospects for the Bush 
administration's efforts to punish Iran for refusing to suspend its nuclear 
program, even as European leaders expressed wariness at moving quickly to impose


In Moscow, officials expressed regret that an Aug. 31 deadline had passed 
without an agreement by Iran to halt efforts to enrich uranium that could be 
used for building nuclear weapons, as U.S. and European officials fear Iran 

At the same time, Russian officials made it clear that they do not support 
retaliatory sanctions or other steps to isolate Iran's leadership. That was a 
view that seemed to be widely shared across Europe.

Despite weeks of diplomacy among the U.N. Security Council's permanent members ‹
the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia ‹ the resolute deadline set
by the Security Council for Iran to halt its nuclear work seemed fairly 
irresolute once it passed.

Russia's defense minister, Sergei Ivanov, said the issue of sanctions was "not 
acute," and added that diplomats from the five permanent members and Germany 
would meet to discuss further steps.

Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said Russia favored continued 
negotiations and not punitive measures.

Even though Russia previously joined the Security Council in setting the 
deadline for Iran to comply, Lavrov left in doubt whether Russia would ever 
agree to any penalties.

In Iran, officials reiterated that the country is only pursuing a peaceful, 
civilian nuclear program.

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