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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia rules out military scenario for Iran - MP

RIA Novosti

13/04/2007 17:05 (Recasts lead, specifies quote in paragraph 2, adds paragraphs 3-6)

MOSCOW, April 13 (RIA Novosti) - A military scenario for Iran  should be ruled out, a senior Russian lawmaker said after a closed-doors meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak.

"We have seen that our Foreign Ministry and other bodies of the executive branch have thoroughly analyzed various action plans under different scenarios with respect to Iran," said Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee. "The only scenario that should be completely ruled out is the military one, the use of force against Iran."

The Islamic Republic has been suspected of plans to build nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear program. The UN Security Council imposed sanctions on Tehran in March, for refusal to halt uranium enrichment.

The United States has been building up its military presence near the Middle East nation, prompting Russian mliitary to talk about possible strikes on the defiant regime. Washington earlier also refused to rule out a military campaign, although highlighting a focus on diplomacy. 

"We understood at the discussions that Iran has unfortunately been reluctant to clarify numerous questions the [International Atomic Energy Agency] IAEA has regarding the Iranian nuclear program," Kosachev said, adding the UN watchdog had no evidence proving Tehran's military ambitions.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday the Natanz facility had begun industrial-scale production of nuclear fuel, which he said was needed for power generation. Experts have been skeptical that Iran has enough centrifuges for the process at the moment.

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