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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia opposes new sanctions against Iran

RIA Novosti

16:10 14/10/2009 MOSCOW, October 14 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is against imposing further sanctions on Iran over its controversial nuclear program, a Russian deputy foreign minister said on Tuesday.

"First of all, sanctions are in place, and there are plenty of them, and, in our point of view, talks that sanctions are lagging behind are unjustified, because it is the political negotiating process that has in fact produced only rudimentary results so far," Sergei Ryabkov said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavriv on Tuesday that neither country was seeking to impose sanctions against Iran under the current circumstances.

Iran has been in the center of a protracted international dispute over its nuclear program, which it maintains is exclusively civilian in nature but Western nations fear could lead to the production of weapons-grade material.

The head of Russia's Security Council said in an interview published in the Izvestia daily on Wednesday that Russia supported Iran's right to a peaceful nuclear program, but opposed the appearance of new members of the so-called nuclear club.

"We support Iran's right to peaceful nuclear power, but we are against the further extension of the nuclear club," Nikolai Patrushev said, adding that the Iranian nuclear issue has been extremely politicized.

Tehran is under three sets of UN Security Council sanctions over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment that could be used both for electricity generation and weapons production.

Iran and six world powers involved in negotiations on the issue met in Switzerland soon after news of Iran's second uranium enrichment facility led to international calls for tougher sanctions.

During the talks in Geneva the two sides have agreed on an IAEA inspection to the country's new uranium enrichment facility and pledged to intensify the negotiation process.

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