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Russia Wants Changes to UN Draft on Iran


Russia says a United Nations draft resolution ordering Iran to curb its controversial nuclear program must be changed.

Russian news agencies quote Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak Saturday as saying the resolution, prepared by Britain and France and backed by the United States, needs "major alterations."

Russia and China objected Friday to language in a draft resolution prepared by Britain and France, and backed by the United States, invoking Chapter Seven of the U.N. Charter, which can be used to authorize sanctions and military force should Iran continue enriching uranium.

Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, said the Security Council draft resolution should have one goal - to ensure the nuclear program is used for peaceful purposes only. He says the only international agency that could provide that assurance is the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Diplomats representing the three Western nations had hoped the Security Council would adopt the resolution before foreign ministers of six key nations trying to negotiate with Iran meet in New York Monday.

Western nations suspect Iran is seeking to acquire nuclear weapons under the cover of its civilian atomic program. Tehran says its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.

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