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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

UN sanctions 'good' for Iran economy - vice president

RIA Novosti

16/04/2008 18:54 TEHRAN, April 16 (RIA Novosti) -- Sanctions imposed on Iran over its "peaceful nuclear activities" have not affected the country's economy, but rather stimulated foreign investment, the Islamic Republic's first vice president said on Wednesday.

"Far from having an adverse impact on Iran's socio-economic situation, [UN] Security Council resolutions are producing the opposite effect to the one intended," Parviz Davoudi said.

He said the sanctions have only made foreign companies more interested in doing business and increasing their presence in Iran.

Six countries mediating in the nuclear dispute with Iran met in Shanghai on Wednesday to discuss new incentives to persuade Tehran to suspend its uranium enrichment program.

Earlier Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said deputy foreign ministers from the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany would discuss economic, security and technological measures to persuade the Islamic Republic to resume talks.

The international community has demanded that Tehran halt uranium enrichment used both in electricity generation and nuclear weapons production. Iran insists on its right to civilian nuclear energy, and has defied three sets of United Nations sanctions over its nuclear program.

In a sign of defiance Iran said earlier this month it had started to install another 6,000 uranium enrichment centrifuges at its underground facility in Natanz in addition to its current 3,000. The country also announced tests of advanced enrichment centrifuges, along with plans to build a second uranium processing plant by next March.

Russia and China, which both have strong business interests in Iran, blocked stricter measures against the country using their vetoes at the UN Security Council.

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