Russia will support U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran only if it violates the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.
But the top diplomat said Tehran might respond to a new European package of incentives to get Iran to halt nuclear enrichment, put forward by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China -- and Germany.
European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana presented the new six-nation proposal to Iran during a meeting in Tehran on Tuesday with Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, who said the new proposal contains "positive steps" and "ambiguities."
"No timeframe has been set, but we are hoping that by the end of the month Iran will be able to give an answer to the proposal," Lavrov said, quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency.
The package for Iran contains economic and political incentives, including talks with the United States, Western help in building nuclear reactors, a guaranteed supply of nuclear fuel and permission to buy aircraft and spare parts if Tehran suspends uranium enrichment.
Lavrov said the six countries also proposed suspending discussions of a draft UN Security Council resolution on Iran if Tehran re-imposed a moratorium on uranium enrichment.
Details of the proposal are yet to be made public.
Washington has accused Tehran of secretly developing atomic weapons under a civilian front, a charge denied by Iran, which insists its nuclear program is solely peaceful.