Russia minister says Moscow against new Iran sanctions

Russia is against fresh sanctions on Iran over its disputed nuclear programme as demanded by some Western powers, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Riabkov said on Friday.

“Russia is against the sanctions pushed forward by some of the six” powers involved in negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear programme, the Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.

“The Western countries are for the sanctions. China like Russia did not back it,” he added, a day after a meeting in Paris over the issue.

The political directors from China, Germany, Russia, Britain and the United States along with France and a representative for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana Thursday reaffirmed their twin-track approach of dialogue and sanctions.

A French foreign ministry statement stressed that the UN Security Council “reaffirmed the importance of the dual-track approach,” namely talking with Tehran while also considering imposing more sanctions on the regime if it fails to halt sensitive nuclear work.

Tehran maintains that it is enriching uranium only for peaceful purposes to generate power, while Western powers, especially Washington, suspect Iran of trying to develop an atomic bomb.

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