European parliament urges Russia, China to back Iran sanctions

February 3rd, 2012 - 4:17 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Feb 3 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The European parliament Thursday called on Russia and China to back UN Security Council sanctions against Iran and cease assisting its nuclear activities.

“[Members] regret the ongoing refusal of China and Russia in the UN Security Council to support sanctions against Iran and call on Russia to cease providing assistance for Iran’s nuclear development until Iran fully complied with its obligations under UN resolutions,” the parliament said in a resolution.

Iran is subject to a series of EU and US sanctions, including measures targeting the country’s lucrative oil industry.

Western powers fear Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons programme but it insists its uranium enrichment work is for peaceful purposes only.

Members also backed new tough EU sanctions against Iran and condemned Tehran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which more than 20 percent of the world’s shipped oil passes.

Last week, EU Foreign Ministers agreed on additional sanctions against Iran, including a phased ban on imports of Iranian crude oil to the bloc from July 1.

The EU currently purchases about 20 percent of Iran’s oil exports.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran was ready to restart six-party talks with the West but added that it was “evident that those who resort to coercion are opposed to talks”.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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