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Russia's Foreign Minister Criticizes European Resolution on Iran


Russia's foreign minister has criticized a European-drafted U.N. resolution that would impose sanctions on Iran, saying it is inconsistent with existing agreements by major powers.

Speaking on television in Russia, Sergei Lavrov said the objective of the six powers should be to prevent Iran from gaining access to sensitive nuclear technologies, until United Nations inspectors clarify all the issues of interest to them.

Lavrov says the European resolution fails to meet those goals.

Three members of the group of major powers - Britain, France and Germany - this week drafted the resolution. The other three powers are the United States, Russia and China.

The Interfax news agency quotes Russia's deputy foreign minister, Sergei Kislyak as saying Russia's project to build the Bushehr nuclear power station in Iran is one of several obstacles holding up the agreement.

The draft calls for banning the transfer of missile and nuclear technology to Iran, and cutting off financing for such projects.

U.S. diplomats Wednesday criticized the proposal as not being tough enough.

French U.N. Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere says the draft resolution is firm but also reversible, as it would lift the sanctions once Tehran suspends uranium enrichment work.

Iran faces possible U.N. sanctions for the enrichment, which Tehran insists is for peaceful purposes. Western nations suspect the country is trying to develop nuclear weapons.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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