Russia against Iranian sanctions

08:32, January 21, 2011      

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The Russian foreign minister said here on Thursday that Russian had always been against unilateral sanctions against Iran and hopes that they can be lifted in the upcoming Iranian nuclear talks.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the statement at a press conference shortly after his meeting with Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu in Ciragan Palace, Istanbul.

Evaluating the talks that will be held in Istanbul on Friday and Saturday between Iran and the P5+1 (Russia, the U.S., UK, France, China and Germany), Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said sanctions should be one of the topics on the agenda.

"We have never supported unilateral sanctions, which will only serve as a spoiler for Iran," he said, adding Russia has always been very clear at pointing out its concerns.

Asked what his expectations from the talks were, he added that just being able to agree on a perspective for future steps would mean the talks were a success.

He added that the talks would not just be limited to the Iranian nuclear program, but also on solutions to regional problems.

Regarding the nuclear swap agreement signed between Iran, Turkey and Brazil last summer and known as the Tehran agreement, Lavrov said that it served as a confidence building measure, however, the Tehran research reactor was not a P5+1 project.

"If the IAEA proves the Iranian nuclear program is peaceful, Iran would have every right as every other country to use peaceful nuclear power," he said.

Currently, he added, the IAEA cannot confirm that the program is peaceful, nor can it prove the program is aggressive.

Source: Xinhua

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