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. Russia demands positive answer from Iran on nuclear proposals
MOSCOW, July 28 (AFP) Jul 28, 2006
Russia called on Tehran on Friday swiftly to end consideration of a set of proposals by six major powers for resolving the Iranian nuclear crisis and to give a positive response.

"We expect the Iranian leadership to finish its studying as soon as possible and to give a positive answer," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the ITAR-TASS news agency as he travelled to Moscow from a regional forum in Malaysia.

Lavrov was referring to a package of security and economic incentives that has been offered to Iran in exchange for the suspension of its uranium enrichment activities.

The package was put forward earlier by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and United States -- plus Germany.

Western powers led by the United States suspect that Iran's stated intention of developing civil nuclear energy is a cover for developing nuclear weapons.

Moscow has recently appeared to take a tougher position on the Iranian nuclear issue despite being an ally of Tehran. Russia is currently building Iran's first nuclear power station, a project that Washington has said should be halted.

Lavrov's comments followed a meeting at UN headquarters in New York on Thursday at which the six powers came closer to agreeing a resolution to put to the UN Security Council, according to diplomats.

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