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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia concerned about unilateral U.S., EU sanctions against Iran

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, May 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has expressed concern over reports that the U.S. and EU are preparing unilateral sanctions against Iran in addition to a draft Security Council resolution currently being discussed.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday that Washington, Moscow and Beijing have come to an agreement on a new Security Council resolution, thought to impose another set of sanctions against the Islamic Republic. She also said the U.S. would push for the soonest possible adoption of the new resolution.

"[In a phone conversation] Lavrov also expressed concern over coming reports about the intentions of the U.S. and the European Union to go beyond a collective Security Council position on Iran and to impose unilateral sanctions," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The Foreign Ministry said the unilateral sanctions would include measures "of an extraterritorial nature, beyond the agreed decisions of the international community and contradicting the principle of the rule of the international law, enshrined in the UN Charter."

On Monday, the Iranian, Brazilian, and Turkish foreign ministers signed an agreement on the exchange of low-enriched uranium to fuel Tehran's scientific research reactor. An Iranian Foreign Ministry official representative said that Tehran had agreed to swap in Turkey most of its 3.5%-enriched uranium for 20%-enriched fuel.

"The minister and the secretary of state exchanged opinions on how this move might influence the new draft Security Council resolution on Iran," the Foreign Ministry said.

The Iran Six (France, Britain, Germany, the United States, Russia and China) began discussing on April 19 the text of a draft resolution to impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic, which the United States and other Western countries suspect of developing nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear energy program.

The Security Council is currently holding a closed session in New York to discuss the draft resolution. Brazil, which is one of the non-permanent members to the UN this year, abstained from the discussions, the country's UN ambassador, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, said.

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