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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia sees no need for urgent measures against Iran - FM Lavrov

RIA Novosti

24/09/2008 20:53 NEW YORK, September 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russia sees no crisis surrounding Iran's nuclear program and does not believe it is necessary to take any urgent steps, the Russian foreign minister said Wednesday.

"The state of Iran's nuclear program does not now demand extraordinary measures," Sergei Lavrov told reporters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, commenting on reports that a six-nation meeting on Iran has been canceled.

Lavrov said a meeting on Iran involving the foreign ministers of Russia, China, the United States, France, Britain and Germany was canceled as the parties had failed to fix a date due to their busy timetables at the current UN General Assembly session.

The group was to meet in New York on Thursday.

A Russian diplomat said earlier Wednesday the meeting on Iran's nuclear ambitions had not been included in Lavrov's UN agenda. "The minister will be unable to take part in such a meeting due to his busy timetable," he said.

Germany's foreign minister was quoted by AP as saying earlier Wednesday that recent tensions between Washington and Moscow over the Georgia conflict could mean Russia would not take part in talks on Iran in the "medium term."

At a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York on Tuesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reiterated that the Islamic Republic's nuclear program was entirely peaceful and dismissed accusations that the country was striving to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran is under three sets of relatively mild UN Security Council sanctions for defying demands to halt uranium enrichment. The United States insists on tougher punishment.

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