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. Sanctions talk on Iran premature: Russia
MOSCOW, Aug 25 (AFP) Aug 25, 2006
Talk of introducing sanctions against Iran after its response to the world powers' demand to freeze uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities was as yet "premature", Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said early Friday.

"It is at least premature and unsound to speak of sanctions" as of now, Ivanov said as quoted by the ITAR-TASS news agency.

"In any case, Russia will continue to urge a political and diplomatic resolution (of the Iran nuclear problem), with the non-proliferation regime observed fully and harshly," Ivanov said.

The United States and other world powers have reacted coolly to Iran's response to a package of incentives offered by the five permanent Security Council members and Germany in return for a moratorium on sensitive uranium activities.

Iran is suspected by the West of trying to build nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian nuclear power program. Tehran has consistently rejected this suspicion, and has insisted it has the right to its own nuclear power program.

Iran has been working on its nuclear power program with the technical assistance of Russia and an Iranian delegation is currently visiting nuclear installations in Russia, news agencies said.

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