Russia opposes new UN sanctions on Iran (Lead)

September 20th, 2008 - 8:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Sep 20 (RIA Novosti) Russia is opposed to any new UN measures against Iran over its disputed nuclear programme for now, the foreign ministry said Saturday. The statement came after six world powers met Friday to discuss a fourth round of UN sanctions against the Islamic Republic suspected of seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

The meeting in Washington brought no agreement.

Tehran insists it pursues nuclear research to generate electricity.

“We spoke out against extra measures by the UN Security Council at the current stage,” the ministry said.

“The Russian side stressed the need to continue efforts to get Tehran engaged in a constructive dialogue aimed at starting a process of negotiations.”

The US and other Western powers have pushed for tougher sanctions against Iran for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment and ensure access to its nuclear facilities.

The enriched uranium can be used both in electricity generation as well as for making atomic bombs.

Both Russia and China, with veto powers at the UN Security Council, have opposed the tougher punishment. The countries also have close business relations with the Islamic republic.

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