Russia may back UN resolution if Iran continues enrichment

February 28th, 2008 - 11:56 pm ICT by admin  

RIA Novosti
Moscow, Feb 28 (RIA Novosti) Russia could support a new UN Security Council resolution on Iran if the Islamic Republic does not stop uranium enrichment, the Russian envoy to the UN has said. “If Iran in the next few days does not stop the enrichment activities of its heavy water project then yes, Russia has taken upon itself certain commitments to support the resolution that has been drafted in the past month,” Vitaly Churkin said Wednesday.

He said the resolution would be an additional guarantee that Iran’s nuclear activities are not in breach of the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

The head of the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said Friday that Iran had become more transparent about its nuclear programme, but had failed to fully answer Western allegations that it was seeking to create nuclear weapons.

The diplomatic standoff between Iran and the West began almost six years ago over suspicions that Tehran was developing a nuclear weapons programme. Tehran has always maintained it needs nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Since then, two rounds of sanctions have been imposed - in December 2006 and March 2007.

The five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany agreed at talks in Berlin Jan 22 on a draft for a third round of sanctions against Iran, calling for travel bans and asset freezes.

The move came despite a US intelligence report in late 2007 suggesting that Iran had not been engaged in attempts to develop nuclear weapons since 2003.

The new draft resolution was officially introduced by France and Britain in the UN Security Council Friday, and council members are expected to vote on the sanctions at some point next week.

The outcome of the vote will largely depend on the assessment of the new IAEA report.
RIA Novosti

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