Medvedev: sanctions against Iran should not target civilians

08:56, March 02, 2010      

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France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) speaks with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev before giving a news conference at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, March 1, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Russia could consider agreeing to new sanction against Iran if the international diplomatic efforts failed to settle the issue of Iran's nuclear program on condition that the sanctions should not target Iranian civilians, the visiting President said here on Monday.

"Russia was ready to consider the introduction of sanction ( against Iran) with other partners," Dmitri Medvedev said at a joint press conference with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy following their meeting at Elysee Palace.

"Our calls (to Iran) of working a peaceful nuclear programme under the control of international community failed to bear fruits till present ... We didn't make any progress during the last period of time, on the contrary, the situation is deteriorating," Medvedev added.

Earlier, Sarkozy told reporters at the same press conference that Russia was "receptive to the question of sanctions so long as they don't create humanitarian tragedies."

Sarkozy expressed his content on the same view between France and Russia on Iran nuclear issue, while Russia president showed his prudence on the issue by underlining the sanction should not " target the (civil) population."

For a long time, the United States and its Western allies have been accusing Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons under the disguise of a civilian program. Iran has denied the accusation and stressed its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.

Yukiya Amano, the Chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), accused Iran on Monday of not sufficiently cooperating with an investigation into its nuclear activities.

"We cannot confirm that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities because Iran has not provided the agency with the necessary cooperation," Yukiya Amano said at an IAEA board of governors meeting.

However, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki Monday insisted Iran was fully cooperating with the UN nuclear watchdog later on the day.

Medvedev began his visit to France on Monday. Under the banner of inaugurating the Crossing Russia-France Culture Exchange Year, the president-headed high-profile delegation aims more to strings of political, economic and military deals with France.

He is expected to meet with French Prime Minister Francois Fillon and to unveil the "Saint Russia" special exhibition at Louvre Museum on Tuesday.

Source: Xinhua
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