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. Use of force to resolve Iran nuclear row 'dangerous': Russia
MOSCOW (AFP) Aug 17, 2005
Russia cautioned the United States on Wednesday against considering the use of force to contain Iran's nuclear programme, saying this would be "dangerous" and would unleash "serious consequences."

"We consider that it would be counter-productive and dangerous to use force, the serious consequences of which would be barely predictable," the foreign ministry said in a statement clearly aimed at US President George W. Bush's recent assertion that force is an option.

The statement urged that the crisis over Iran's insistence on producing its own nuclear fuel be resolved "exclusively through expert consultations and diplomatic negotiations."

The Russian position echoes a call by German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder over the weekend for military force to be ruled out as an option in Iran, saying it was "extremely dangerous."

On Friday, Bush refused to rule out military action, saying: "all options are on the table."

"The use of force is the last option for any president. You know we have used force in the recent past to secure our country," he told Israeli television.

Russia is building a nuclear power station in Iran and will supply the plant's nuclear fuel, but says it does want Iran to develop any military capability.

Last week Moscow came out in support of a resolution by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), urging Iran to resume its moratorium on nuclear fuel production.

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