Moscow wants time limit on Iran sanctions
AFP | November 4, 2006
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday that Moscow wanted the draft resolution for sanctions against Iran for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment to include "a time limit".
The resolution should be written so "the measures have a strict time limit" and should clearly specify "the mechanisms for ending the sanctions", Lavrov told the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS.
"We would like the resolution to reflect the agreement between the six (powers) and not close any doors for negotiations," he added.
At a meeting Friday of the six powers -- the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany -- Russia proposed significant changes to the draft resolution.
The US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, mentioned after the meeting "substantial changes" proposed by Moscow but the nature of the proposals was not spelt out until Lavrov's comments on Saturday.
Russia's top diplomat also repeated that Moscow was against including in the resolution a specific mention of the construction of the Iranian nuclear power facility in Bushehr, being built in cooperation with Russia.
He said there was an "understanding" in the draft resolution by the European powers that would allow the Russians to continue construction provided it respected the sanctions.
"We do not need that," Lavrov said. "We are ready to adopt all measures concerning Iran and that is why the attempts to accuse us of refusing to adopt the resolution are unfounded," he added.
"If we concentrate our efforts on working out the measures to stop technology arriving in Iran, then Russia will be able to give her consent to the text of the draft resolution on Iran," Lavrov said.
The draft calls for a series of nuclear- and ballistic missile-related trade sanctions, a freeze of assets related to Iran's nuclear and missile programs and travel bans on scientists involved in those programs.
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