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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

FM Lavrov urges IAEA control over Iran nuclear program

RIA Novosti

05/05/2006 14:21

MOSCOW, May 5 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's foreign minister called on the international community Friday to do everything possible to keep the Iranian nuclear file within the competence of the UN's nuclear watchdog.

Sergei Lavrov said the International Atomic Energy Agency should continue working in Iran to dispel any doubts as to Iran's nuclear research program.

"The IAEA's work in Iran must be supported, and I hope that all the efforts of the international community in Vienna [where the IAEA is based] and in New York [at the UN] will be directed toward this," he told a briefing.

Lavrov said that on an important issue like nonproliferation, decisions should be based only on the conclusions of professionals.

The United States, Britain and France drafted a Security Council resolution Wednesday demanding that Tehran halt uranium enrichment and processing, and also stop construction of a heavy-water reactor at Arak. The draft says that if Iran refused to resume a moratorium, the Security Council would consider other measures necessary to enforce the resolution.

Mohammed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN's nuclear watchdog, reported to the Security Council last week that Iran had failed to meet the council's April 28 deadline to halt all uranium enrichment activities. His report has deepened a rift between the council's five permanent member states, with the U.S., France and Britain pressing for a new militarily enforceable resolution to make Iran abandon its nuclear program and Russia and China insisting the issue be resolved through diplomacy.

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