Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Russia to Consider Economic Sanctions if Iran Fails to Respond — Lavrov

If Iran fails to respond to demands from the UN’s nuclear watchdog, Russia will be ready to discuss economic sanctions at the UN Security Council, the foreign minister said Wednesday, RIA Novosti news agency reports. READ MORE

Unlike the United States and some European countries, veto-wielding Russia and China, have opposed sanctions against Iran, where they have significant economic interests, and they could opt for less stringent punitive measures over the country’s controversial nuclear programs.

But Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) radio station to be broadcast Thursday that Moscow’s position on the issue might change if the Islamic Republic failed to cooperate with the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

If the first resolution urging Iran to respond to IAEA demands fails to work, we have agreed that additional measures, including economic sanctions, will eventually be discussed,” he said.

Iran has yet to respond to the incentives proposed by six international mediators in a bid persuade Tehran to halt uranium enrichment.

We will be ready to adopt a resolution putting teeth into the IAEA demands to Iran,” Lavrov said.