No unilateral sanctions against Iran – Russian Foreign Minister

Russia does not approve unilateral sanctions against Iran and is calling for the continuation of talks between a six-nation coalition and Tehran.

­The statement was made by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the wake of last weekend’s Istanbul talks of the 5+1 countries with Iran. The six world powers involved in the negotiation process include five permanent UN Security Council members – Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States – plus Germany.

“Sanctions against Iran are in place,” Russia’s Foreign Minister said on Tuesday. “But some countries plan on toughening them. We are against unilateral sanctions.”

Although the date of the next meeting has not been scheduled yet, Sergey Lavrov said Moscow will be pushing for the continuation of talks in the same format.

The first round of negotiations between the six-nation coalition and Iran took place on December 6-7 in Geneva, but bore no results.

The Istanbul meeting was also dubbed a failure in the West as Iran once again proved unwilling to make concessions.

“We will not allow any talks linked to freezing or suspending Iran's enrichment activities to be discussed at the meeting in Istanbul,”
said Abolfazl Zohrevand, an aide to Iranian nuclear negotiator and secretary general of Iran's National Security Council Saeed Jalili.

Iran refuses to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 1835. It was adopted unanimously on September 27, 2008, and reaffirms the demand for the Iranian government to suspend all activities related to uranium enrichment and contributing to nuclear proliferation. The document also requires that Iran fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). A demand the Islamic Republic has been largely ignoring.

Foreign Minister Lavrov, though, called on the partners not to jump into conclusions concerning the actual outcome of the latest talks.

“Not all participants of the meeting in Istanbul consider it a failure,” Lavrov said in response to media comments. “We had a serious dialogue on topics which will be at the core of further talks,” he noted.

He added that Iran must comply with the Security Council demands but for this it should fully understand what benefits it gets from co-operation with the IAEA.