Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Russia reluctant to refer Iran to UNSC :

Russia reluctant to refer Iran to UNSC : "Russia reluctant to refer Iran to UNSC
Moscow, September 29
Russia is against reporting Iran to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for what the United States and some other countries say are breaches of UN nuclear rules, a top Kremlin official was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

"Taking this issue to the UN Security Council, which is a political body, will hardly do us any favours," Igor Ivanov, head of Russia's Security Council and a former foreign minister who widened nuclear ties with Iran, told Interfax news agency.

However, diplomats at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the comment did not mean that Russia would definitely block a referral of the IAEA's concerns to the UNSC, which could sanction Iran.

Russia's criticism of Iran has strengthened since Tehran threatened this month to defy a call by the IAEA, the UN nuclear watchdog, for it to stop work on enriching uranium, a process that can be used to develop nuclear arms.

Moscow for months opposed referring the agency's concerns to the Security Council, where Russia holds a veto. But last week, President Vladimir Putin, who is being pressed by the United States to stop building a nuclear power station at Bushehr in Iran, urged Tehran to heed the IAEA's demands."


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