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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Moscow hopes Iran will see positive UN message - FM Lavrov

RIA Novosti

27/03/2007 15:13 MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow hopes Iran will recognize the constructive proposals in the latest UN Security Council resolution and the Iran-6 statement on Tehran's nuclear program, Russia's foreign minister said Tuesday.

"We expect the Iranian leadership to recognize a signal in the [recently] adopted [UN Security Council] resolution, and especially the statement adopted by the foreign ministers of the six countries [involved in the nuclear dispute] ... which highlight [their] readiness to resume talks and Iran's right to develop civilian nuclear technology in line with international rules," Sergei Lavrov said.

The new UN resolution gives Tehran 60 days to suspend those elements of nuclear research, which have nothing to do with energy generation, and to resume negotiations. After the deadline expires, the UN Security Council will return to the issue.

Iran responded by saying it would reduce cooperation with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors until its nuclear file is returned to the agency from the UN Security Council. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday the resolution would not stop his country's nuclear program "for a second."

"Iran should recognize its responsibility and respond to the appeal of the international community," Lavrov said.

Last week the 15-nation UN Security Council voted to introduce additional sanctions against Iran over its failure to meet the requirements set in December's resolution and give up nuclear research.

The new sanctions against Iran, which is suspected of pursuing a covert weapons program, stipulate freezing accounts of 13 companies and 15 individuals associated with Iran's uranium enrichment program and development of missile carriers.

The sanctions also bring in visa restrictions, an embargo on weapons exports from Iran and recommendations to others nations to refrain from selling arms to Tehran or providing loans.

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