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Russia Says New Iran Resolution Not Punitive


Russia's foreign minister says a new draft U.N. resolution on Iran over its disputed nuclear activities does not call for any tough sanctions.

Speaking in Moscow Wednesday, Sergei Lavrov said the draft signed by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany welcomes the progress Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency have made to address all questions about Iran's nuclear program.

Earlier, the U.S. State Department said the draft penalizes Tehran while it offers incentives for officials to resolve the nuclear dispute diplomatically.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said his country along with France and Britain soon will submit the draft resolution for discussion before the 15-member Security Council.

The Security Council already has imposed two sets of sanctions on Iran for its failure to suspend uranium enrichment, a process that can be used in making nuclear weapons.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stressed again today (Wednesday) that Iran will not halt its nuclear work because of any new U.N sanctions. He added those sanctions would be "ineffective."

In other news, Iran's nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili says he plans to meet with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana in Brussels later today.

The United States and its Western allies accuse Tehran of developing technology to produce nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charge.

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

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