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. Russia considering economic sanctions against Iran: FM
MOSCOW, Sept 6 (AFP) Sep 06, 2006
Russia is considering support for UN economic sanctions against Iran over its refusal to back down on controversial nuclear activity, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday, Russian news agencies reported.

"We will consider this from all points of view, in totality, based on our goal of not allowing the spread of WMD (weapons of mass destruction) and technology that is linked with this," state-run RIA Novosti quoted him as saying during a visit to Cape Town.

However, Lavrov said Russia still had reservations about imposing sanctions on Iran and he underlined Moscow's opposition to military action.

"Whether we use (sanctions) or not has still to be decided, since any economic measures must be commensurate with real threats to international security," he was quoted as saying by ITAR-TASS.

Potential measures by the United Nations "exclude any sort of military action," he was quoted as saying by Russian agencies.

Insisting on its right to a peaceful nuclear program, Iran defied an August 31 UN Security Council deadline to halt uranium enrichment -- the strategic process which makes nuclear reactor fuel but also atomic bomb material.

Last-ditch diplomatic attempts were being made to try to relaunch negotiations with Iran before the issue returns to the UN Security Council, which could vote on imposing sanctions.

Russia, which is building Iran's first nuclear power station, has consistently opposed US-led pressure to punish Tehran.

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