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Lavrov cautions Iran over sanctions

30 April 2010 0:39

In the strongest signal yet of support for the US-pursued sanctions against Iran, Russia has warned Tehran that the measure could become “inevitable.”

“In the absence of cooperation on the part of Iran, it is quite possible that sanctions will become inevitable, and in the very near future the Security Council will deal with these matters,” RIA Novosti quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Thursday.

He made the remarks in reply to questions during a plenary meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg, France.

However, Lavrov stressed that Kremlin would never support the use of force against Iran as it would entail catastrophic consequences for Europe “and not just the Middle East, Near East, Central Asia, and the Caucasus region,” Russia’s Interfax news agency said.

Russia, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, could cripple the Washington-drafted resolution for more Iran sanctions with the use of its veto right.

But Moscow has remained vague on its stance towards the issue, shifting from support for Iran’s civilian nuclear program, which Tehran has repeatedly said is completely peaceful, to veiled cautions that it may join ship with the US on more sanctions.

This is while, as one of the key suppliers in the nuclear fuel swap proposal, Russia is ultimately in favor of a diplomatic resolution.

Another veto-wielding UNSC member, China, has urged diplomacy in finding a solution to the nuclear impasse — a call echoed by temporary members Turkey and Brazil.

In order to be passed, the resolution must be approved by at least nine members of the UNSC, granted that none of the five permanent members use their veto.

As a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran stresses that it has the right to develop its nuclear program for peaceful purposes, citing its membership of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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