Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today said that he was “very alarmed” by claims made in the latest IAEA report about Iran’s failure to prove that its nuclear program was only for civilian purposes.
But unlike Western officials, who used the report as an excuse for new calls for sanctions, Lavrov insisted that “we cannot accept that Iran is refusing to cooperate” and said that Russia remains opposed to the call for “crippling sanctions.”
Russia has played a role in Iran’s civilian nuclear program, constructing the Bushehr nuclear power plant. Iran has been enriching uranium to 3.5 percent to fuel this plant, despite Western objections.
Russia, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, could veto prospective US-backed sanctions against Iran. China, another power with veto capabilities, has also expressed opposition to such sanctions.
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