Russia reiterates only diplomacy can solve Iranian nuclear issue
Russia believes that diplomatic negotiations are the only way to settle the tensions surrounding Iran's nuclear program, Russia's envoy to the UN said on Wednesday, RIA Novosti reported.
"Russia does not see any alternative to a diplomatic settlement of the Iranian nuclear problem through constructive dialogue between Tehran and the Iran Six," Vitaly Churkin said at the UN General Assembly.
He emphasized that Russia would do its utmost to aid the resumption of the multilateral talks with Iran.
"As for sanctions, they are not a goal in and of themselves. The sanction regime imposed by the UN Security Council is to send Iran a signal about the necessity of full-fledged cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] and give a boost to the negotiation process," Churkin said.
Russia is categorically opposed to situations "when unilateral decisions on imposing sanctions are taken in parallel with collective measures in the UN Security Council," Churkin said.
Russia, the United States, China, Britain, France and Germany have been trying since 2003 to convince Iran to stop its uranium enrichment program and to alleviate concerns about its nuclear ambitions.
Western powers suspect Iran of building nuclear weapons under the guise of a nuclear program that Tehran claims is entirely peaceful and focused on power generation.
International pressure on Iran increased in early February when Tehran announced it had begun enriching uranium to 20 percent in lieu of an agreement on an exchange that would provide it with fuel for a research reactor.
In June, the UN Security Council passed a resolution imposing a fourth set of sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.