Reuters: Russia will agree to United Nations sanctions against Iran if they have a defined timeframe and an agreed mechanism for lifting them, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday. MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia will agree to United Nations sanctions against Iran if they have a defined timeframe and an agreed mechanism for lifting them, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday.
Russia on Friday proposed extensive changes to soften and shorten a resolution drafted by European leaders aimed at imposing tough sanctions on Iran for its nuclear ambitions. It said Europe’s draft went much further than Moscow had agreed.
Lavrov has previously said the resolution should focus on areas the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has defined as serious concerns. These are uranium enrichment, chemical processing and heavy water reactors.
“If we place the emphasis on working out measures which do not allow such technologies coming (to Iran), we can quickly agree with the text of the resolution on condition the measures have a clearly limited timeframe, on condition the resolution outlines the mechanism to stop the measures,” Lavrov said, according to RIA news agency.
“All this must be tied to Iran’s agreement to IAEA conditions and real steps by Iran to renew full cooperation with the IAEA,” he added.
Other Russian news agencies carried similar Lavrov comments.
The European draft demands that all countries prevent the sale and supply of equipment, technology and finance for Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. It would also freeze the assets of people and entities involved in these programmes and bar them from travelling.
China, which like Russia has a veto right, also opposes the European draft and the United States wants amendments too.
Russia is building an $800 million nuclear reactor in Bushehr in the south-west of Iran. Moscow says the reactor, which is expected to start working late next year, is legal under existing international non-proliferation treaties.
The resolution drafted by European leaders exempts Bushehr from sanctions but says Russia must check with a Security Council committee if it delivers material that can be used for weapons.
But Lavrov said he did not like the wording.
“As for Bushehr, the resolution has an undertone saying ‘Support us on all the issues and we will allow you to finish Bushehr’. We do not want it,” he said.
“It is Bushehr that is a real anchor holding Iran in the non-proliferation regime.”