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Russia Remains Iran’s Ally in Spite of Supporting UN Resolution — Larijani

Mosnews | August 7 2006

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator said Sunday the Islamic Republic will continue developing relations with Russia and China, despite their supporting a UN Security Council resolution.

The five permanent UN Security Council members, including Russia and China, voted July 31 in favor of a resolution to set August 31 as a deadline for Iran to suspend all uranium enrichment activities. If Iran fails to fulfill the UN’s demands, economic and diplomatic sanctions may be imposed on the Islamic Republic.

Ali Larijani said Iran had long-term relations with Russia and China and friends could not be judged on the basis of one action only.

Iran’s nuclear program has been a source of major controversy since the beginning of the year, as many countries suspect the Islamic Republic of pursuing a covert weapons program under the pretext of civilian research, despite its claims to the contrary.

Russia, which is building Iran’s first nuclear reactor, has previously offered diplomatic support to Iran in the international crisis over the Islamic republic’s nuclear program.

But Moscow’s position has shifted in recent days following Iran’s delay in responding to an international package of incentives to suspend uranium enrichment that was offered by the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany. Finally, earlier this week Russia urged Iran to heed the UN resolution.

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