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Iran's foreign minister urged the UN Security Council
Iran's foreign minister urged the UN Security Council to give up attempts to adopt a new resolution imposing additional sanctions against the Islamic Republic, Iranian television reported Thursday.

Manouchehr Mottaki sent a message to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Security Council members indicating it would be "unacceptable to repeat mistakes."

"The report by the International Atomic Energy Agency that confirmed the civilian direction of Iran's nuclear program, shows that all earlier adopted Security Council resolutions have no justification from the technical and legal viewpoints. Approval of the resolutions was dictated only by self-interested political goals of certain states," the local TV quoted the message.

The Russian envoy to the UN said Wednesday Russia could support a new UN Security Council resolution on Iran if the Islamic Republic does not stop uranium enrichment.

"If Iran in the next few days does not stop the enrichment activities of its heavy water project then yes, Russia ... has taken upon itself certain commitments... to support the resolution that has been drafted in the past month," Vitaly Churkin told journalists during a video linkup from New York organized by RIA Novosti.

Churkin said the resolution will be an additional guarantee that Iran's nuclear activities are not in breach of the nuclear nonproliferation regime.

The head of the UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, said last week that Iran had become more transparent about its nuclear program, but had failed to fully answer Western allegations that it was seeking to create nuclear weapons.

The diplomatic standoff between Iran and the West began almost six years ago over suspicions that Tehran was developing a nuclear weapons program. Tehran has always maintained it needs nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Since then, two rounds of sanctions have been imposed - in December 2006 and March 2007.

The five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany agreed at talks in Berlin on January 22 on a draft for a third round of sanctions against Iran, calling for travel bans and asset freezes.

The move came despite a U.S. intelligence report in late 2007 suggesting that Iran had not been engaged in attempts to create nuclear weapons since 2003.

The new draft resolution was officially introduced by France and Britain in the UN Security Council on Friday, and council members are expected to vote on the sanctions at some point next week.

The outcome of the vote will largely depend on the assessment of the new IAEA report.

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