Iran: Russia, China against sanctions

Russia and China have told Tehran they will not support UN sanctions or military action over its nuclear programme, the Iranian foreign minister says.

    Mottaki: No sanctions on the agenda of the Security Council

    UN ambassadors from the United States, Britain and France are expected to introduce a resolution this week to legally oblige Iran to comply with UN Security Council demands that it halt all uranium enrichment work.

    But Manouchehr Mottaki told the Kayhan newspaper on Tuesday:

    "The thing these two countries [China and Russia] have officially told us and expressed in diplomatic negotiations is their opposition to sanctions and military attacks.

    "At the current juncture, I personally believe no sanctions or anything like that will be on the agenda of the Security Council," he said.

    Western diplomats say China and Russia - both veto-wielding permanent members of the council, will probably back a UN resolution demanding a halt to Iran's nuclear fuel work, but are not yet ready to back sanctions.

    Iran has been referred to the UN Security Council after failing to convince the International Atomic Energy Agency that its nuclear power station programme is not a front for building an atom bomb.

    Enrichment

    The head of Iran's atomic energy agency also said Iran had enriched uranium to 4.8% but would not enrich above 5%, keeping the country's enrichment work within a range used for nuclear power stations.

    Experts said uranium enriched to a range of 3% to 5% is a low level used in atomic power reactors. Uranium would have to be enriched far higher, to 80% or more, to make nuclear weapons, which is what the West fears Iran wants.

    Iran said at the end of April it had enriched uranium to more than 4%. Prior to that, it had told the UN nuclear watchdog that it had enriched to 3.6%, a level confirmed by the IAEA.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.