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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia pledges support for resolution of Iran's nuclear issue

RIA Novosti

21:3927/05/2010 MOSCOW, May 27 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow will assist the negotiating process to break the impasse over Iran's nuclear program, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

Lavrov spoke by telephone to his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki in a call initiated by Russia.

"The Russian side expressed readiness to provide active assistance in advancing the negotiating process on the settlement of the Iranian nuclear program issue," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its website.

It said the two ministers exchanged views on basic aspects of bilateral relations, including Iran's nuclear program in the context of the tripartite uranium swap deal signed by Brazil, Turkey and Iran on May 17.

Under the agreement, Iran will swap in Turkey 1.2 tons of its low-enriched uranium for 120 kg of 20% enriched uranium fuel.

The deal did not halt discussions by the Iran Six (Russia, the United States, Britain, France, Germany and China) on a draft Security Council resolution to expand sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

International pressure on Iran increased in early February when Tehran announced it had begun enriching uranium to 20% in lieu of an agreement on an exchange that would provide it with fuel for a research reactor.

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