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Russia: no accord on Iran sanctions

Latest update : 2008-08-07

Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, told reporters that the six major powers had not come to "agreements or understandings," despite claims to the contrary by the US and UK.


UNITED NATIONS, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Russia on Wednesday
contradicted the United States and Britain, saying there was no
agreement among six major powers on whether to pursue new U.N.
sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program.
 

Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters:
"There have been no firm agreements or understandings or any
kind of concerted work in this regard."
 

Senior foreign ministry officials from Russia, China, the
United States, Britain, France and Germany, which are leading
efforts to persuade Tehran to freeze its nuclear enrichment,
program spoke on the telephone earlier on Wednesday.
 

The United States and Britain said the six agreed to
consider possible outlines of a fourth sanctions resolution at
the U.N. Security Council since Tehran has yet to clearly
respond to their July 19 offer of economic incentives to
suspend nuclear enrichment.
 

Churkin said the issue had not come up in New York and made
it clear that he was in no hurry to raise it.
 

"The main thing to remember (is) that the negotiating track
is open, it is being pursued, there are contacts between the
parties," he said. "Of course, some parties do raise the issue
of sanctions from time to time."
 

He also said Russia had set no deadline for Iran to respond
to the July 19 offer.
 

"We haven't set any deadlines ourselves for their response
and there is ongoing dialogue," he said. "Certainly there is a
matter which is going to be discussed ... by the ministers in
September."
 

He said the talks would take place at a meeting of foreign
ministers from the six countries on the sidelines of the U.N.
General Assembly next month.
 

Churkin said Russia would have preferred a clear response
from Tehran but it's "more complicated than that as we all
know. But we do believe that dialogue can continue."
 

Western countries believe Iran's civilian nuclear program
is a front for developing weapons. Tehran denies the charge.
 

Churkin indicated Iran might still accept the offer, the
full details of which have not been made public.
 

"We certainly do not believe that it is a foregone
conclusion that it is not going to be successful," he said.

Date created : 2008-08-07

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