Russia nixes new Iran sanctions over nuclear report
Russia says it would not support new or tighter sanctions against Iran despite a United Nations nuclear agency report that it is on the brink of developing a nuclear warhead.
Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov says that "any additional sanctions against Iran would be perceived by the international community as an instrument for regime change in Tehran."
Speaking Wednesday to the Interfax news agency, he is quoted as saying that Russia finds new sanctions unacceptable and "does not intend to consider such proposals."
Gatilov said Russia believes that dialogue with Iran is the only way forward.
"There is no fundamentally new information," Russia's Foreign Ministry stated later Wednesday about the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report.
It called the report "a compilation of known facts, given a politicized tone."
Meanwhile, both the German government and British governments have said they may press for more sanctions in light of the report.
"The German government has been concerned for a long time about the progress of Iran's atomic program and its possible true character. The content of the report naturally reinforces these worries considerably," said government spokesman Steffen Seibert.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague urged for a "negotiated solution" but reiterated his government was prepared to "continue to increase the pressure."
"We are considering with our partners a range of additional measures to that effect," he added.
Conducted high explosives testing
The 13-page annex to the IAEA's report released Tuesday included claims that while some of Iran's activities have civilian as well as military applications, others are "specific to nuclear weapons."
Among these were indications that Iran has conducted high explosives testing and detonator development to set off a nuclear charge, as well as computer modeling of a core of a nuclear warhead.
The report also cited preparatory work for a nuclear weapons test,and development of a nuclear payload for Iran's Shahab 3 intermediate-range missile — a weapon that can reach Israel.
Ahmadinejad repeated Iran's claims that it doesn't make sense to build nuclear weapons in a world already awash with atomic arms.
"The Iranian nation is wise. It won't build two bombs against 20,000 [nuclear] bombs you have," he said in comments apparently directed at the West and others. "But it builds something you can't respond to: Ethics, decency, monotheism and justice."
The bulk of the information in the IAEA report was a compilation of alleged findings that have already been partially revealed by the agency. But some of the information was new, including evidence of a large metal chamber at a military site for nuclear-related explosives testing. Iran has dismissed that, saying they were merely metal toilet stalls.