VIENNA, February 15 (Itar-Tass) —— Unilateral sanctions against Iran are unacceptable, but Tehran should clarify issues concerning its nuclear programme to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
“The Iranian problem has been driven to a very complex state for years by both Iran and external players, including by unilateral sanctions adopted in addition to the collective position stated in the U.N. Security Council. Plus exterritorial actions on the part of the United States,” Lavrov said after talks with his Austrian counterpart Michael Spindelegger on Wednesday, February 15.
“Unilateral sanctions undermine the unity of our actions with regard to the Iranian nuclear programme, and Iran is already making use of this,” he said.
At the same time, he stressed that Tehran should comply with the resolution of the IAEA Board of Governors and the U.N. Security Council. “Iran has a right to enrich uranium for fuel production for nuclear power plants under the NPT. But Tehran also carried out programmes that were not reported, and the IAEA got suspicious if the Iranian nuclear programme had no military component,” Lavrov said.
He urged Iranian partners to clarify IAEA questions. “We are interested in this no less than anyone else. We insist that these questions be fully resolved in the dialogue between Iran and the IAEA so that the Agency could report that it found no military dimensions in the Iranian nuclear programme,” the minister said.
He stressed the importance of “consistently working towards the goal and refraining from actions that can aggravate the situation between all us and Tehran”.
“We will insist that Iran comply with all the demands put forth by the international community and resume the talks with the Sextet as soon as possible,” Lavrov said.
Russia will no longer discuss the issue of sanctions against Iran in the U.N. Security Council, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said.
“Sanctions have exhausted themselves. There is no longer room for the Iranian topic in the U.N. Security Council,” he said.
He believes it necessary to “deal seriously with the talks between the Sextet and Iran and with Iran’s contacts with the IAEA”.
“It is necessary to deal seriously with the talks between the Sextet and Iran and with Iran’s contacts with the IAEA. And there are inspiring signs,” Churkin said.
At the same time, he admitted that the growing confrontation between Iran and the international community “was and continues to be a matter of serious concern”.