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NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Moscow, 26 Oct. (AKI) - Russia vetoed on Thursday a draft resolution on Iran's nuclear progranmme presented by the EU-3 - Britain, France and Germany - ahead of a UN meeting on the crisis. Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany - involved in the talks - should try to prevent sensitive nuclear technology from falling into Iran's hands while keeping the door to talks open. "It seems to me that in this respect the proposed draft resolution clearly does not meet the tasks earlier agreed by the six," he reportedly said.

Under the text drafted by the EU-3 which the six world powers are scheduled to start discussing on Thursday, the international community should stop any trade or financing with Iran involving Tehran's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

However, the United States reportedly objects to the measure as it would still allow Russia to continue construction of a nuclear power plant for Iran at Bushehr.

On Thursday, all six countries hold an initial meeting on the resolution, which Russia and China had sent to their governments for analysis. More changes are expected to the European draft before it is circulated to the full 15-member Security Council.

The move comes after Iran ignored a UN 31 August ultimatum threatening it with sanctions if it did not halt sensitive nuclear work which world powers fear is aimed at building nuclear weapons. Both Russia and China however, veto-holding members of the Security Council and close commercial allies of Iran, oppose sanctions.

Iran has always refused to stop enriching uranium, which can produce material for nuclear power reactors or weapons, claiming it is solely for civilian use.
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