Russia criticizes EU Iran sanctions, urges talks

MOSCOW Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:48pm EDT

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia criticized the European Union on Wednesday for imposing new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program and called for a fresh round of talks between world powers and Tehran as soon as possible.

The Foreign Ministry issued a statement expressing "deep concern" over EU sanctions imposed on Tuesday against major Iranian state companies in the oil and gas industry and the central bank.

Moscow said unilateral sanctions by the EU dealt a "palpable blow" to the unity of the six nations - the United States, France, Britain, China, Germany and Russia - leading diplomatic efforts to rein in Iran's nuclear program.

"We will continue to consistently seek to achieve the organization of the next round of negotiations ... as soon as possible," the statement said. No talks have been held since the last round in Moscow failed to bring a breakthrough last June.

Russia has supported four rounds of U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran but says further measures are counterproductive.

The West suspects Iran of using its civilian atomic energy program as a cover for ambitions to build a nuclear bomb - accusations Tehran denies.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Monday she hoped turning up the heat on the Islamic Republic would persuade it to make concessions and that negotiations could resume "very soon".

(Reporting By Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing By Steve Gutterman and Andrew Heavens)

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Comments (7)
Alex5627 wrote:
Moscow said unilateral sanctions by the EU dealt a “palpable blow” to the unity of the six nations – the United States, France, Britain, China, Germany and Russia …

Nothing to blow. There is no unity of these countries. There is unity of Western countries only, with Russia clearly hostile to them, supporting Syria and Iran rulers.

Oct 17, 2012 3:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Butch_from_PA wrote:
Iran and Russia have an opportunity to score a major point.

Iran can promise to decrease or cease uranium enrichment once inspectors are allowed into Israel to see if Israel has no nuclear weapons and/or Israel announces they are getting rid of their nuclear weapons.

Till then, sanctions are a bully tactic by an unfairly lethally armed pair of nations intent on not allowing anyone else in on the defensive game.

Oct 17, 2012 4:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Progression wrote:

How many times do you have to hear this? Iran is a signatory member of the non proliferation treaty, Israel is not. Are you dense, or what? Do you remember all of the demands to see Pakistan’s or India’s nuclear programs? You don’t? That is because they didn’t sign the agreement. Israel, just like Pakistan and India are not signors of the NPT, and hence your post is absolute non sense.

Oct 17, 2012 5:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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