Russia says not favor sanction policy agaisnt Iran
Russia does not seek sanctions against Iran and still hopes for a diplomatic solution to the country's nuclear programme, Russia's Foreign Ministry official said.
Russia does not seek sanctions against Iran and still hopes for a diplomatic solution to the country's nuclear programme, Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said on Thursday.
"This language of sanctions, it is not our language. It has already been said many times," said Nesterenko, stressing that Moscow's position had not changed, when asked about Moscow's attitudes to Iran at a weekly briefing.
"We together with our 'six-party' partners are in favour of using political and diplomatic methods to resolve all emerging problems," he said.
Russia, which has veto rights at the United Nations Security Council, has previously said it would not be left isolated if Western powers agree on sanctions against Tehran, but has spoken of its scepticism about their effectiveness.
U.S. President Barack Obama and his European allies have said time was running out for Tehran to respond to a U.N.-drafted nuclear fuel deal, warning Tehran of fresh U.N. sanctions if the country defied the deal by the end of the year.
The United States, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany, have offered to take Iran's low-enriched uranium and process it abroad into fuel for a civilian reactor. Iran has backed off from the deal.
Nesterenko also said Russia remains committed to completing the construction on Iran's nuclear power plant, which is due to be launched in March 2010.
Russia agreed in 1995 to build the 1,000 megawatt nuclear power plant at Bushehr on the Gulf coast in south-western Iran, but delays have haunted the $1 billion project.
Some diplomats say Moscow has used it as a lever in relations with Tehran.
"Our cooperation with Iran on the construction of the nuclear power plant at Bushehr is in full compliance with our international obligations. We are fully committed to completing this project," he said.
All tests will be carried out with Iran by the agreed deadlines, said Nesterenko, calling for the issue of Iran's nuclear programme and the energy plant to be separated.
The plant was once a source of disagreement between Russia and the West, which suspected the Islamic Republic would try to use it to build nuclear weapons.
Russia says the plant is purely civilian and cannot be used for any weapons programme as it will come under International Atomic Energy Agency supervision. Iran will have to return all spent fuel rods to Russia.
Reuters Last Mod: 11 Aralık 2009, 08:25