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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia can no longer support future sanctions against Iran - Lavrov

RIA Novosti

16:39 15/02/2011 LONDON, February 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will not support future sanctions against Iran, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in London on Tuesday.

"With the approval of Resolution 1929 in [June] last year, practical possibilities to impose sanctions on those related - even indirectly - to the Iranian nuclear program have been exhausted," Lavrov said at a news conference with his British counterpart William Hague.

The Iran Six, which comprises Russia, the United States, China, Britain, France and Germany, has been trying since 2003 to convince Iran to halt its uranium enrichment program.

The UN Security Council passed a resolution imposing sanctions on Iran on June 9, 2010, after Tehran announced its plans to enrich uranium to 20 percent.

"Further sanctions would mean the suppression of the Iranian economy and creation of social problems for the population," Lavrov said. "We cannot support this."

Russia, which had long opposed new sanctions, supported the UN resolution after admitting that Tehran had failed to prove that its nuclear activities had a peaceful nature.

The latest round of talks between six international mediators and Iran over its nuclear program, which took place in Istanbul, yielded no significant results. Both Russia and the EU said they were disappointed with the talks.

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