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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia's Lavrov warns against new sanctions on Iran

RIA Novosti

22:27 05/02/2011

MUNICH, February 5 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called against possible introduction of new sanctions on Iran.

"The sanctions which were approved in June last year, the sanctions aimed at [Iran's] nuclear program have run its course," Lavrov said at the Munich Security Conference, adding that further sanctions on the Islamic state would negatively affect its economy.

The West suspects Tehran of pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program, which Iran strongly denies, insisting it needs atomic energy solely for civilian purposes.

Iran is currently under four sets of UN sanctions over its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, including tougher financial controls and an expanded arms embargo, as well as an asset ban on three dozen companies and a travel freeze on individuals.

"We believe that neither further sanctions, nor intimidation and application of force could be regarded an efficient tool to solve these issues," Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said at the same conference.

Ivanov emphasized that Iran should not become a nuclear power and the concerns that it may obtain nuclear weapons in the next few years are groundless.

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