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The UN could impose sanctions against Iran in the wake of its decision to resume its nuclear research program
The UN could impose sanctions against Iran in the wake of its decision to resume its nuclear research program, members of Russia's upper house of parliament said Monday, while stressing that talks with the country should continue. Chairman of the Federation Council defense and security committee Viktor Ozerov said possible measures could include economic sanctions, but added that "Russia is one of the main contributors to the talks process, and we are prepared to fully take part in regulating Iran's nuclear program." Although the Islamic Republic has consistently said it is developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, many countries, led by the United States and Israel, suspect it of pursuing a secret weapons program. Tehran last week said it was restarting its research into uranium enrichment at three facilities. Moscow has often defended Iran's right to develop nuclear energy and is currently helping to build the $800-million Bushehr plant in the south of Iran. "Russia has consistently defended and continues to defend its interests in the country," Ozerov said. Vyacheslav Popov, the deputy head of the Federation Council's defense committee, said there was a high probability of UN sanctions against Iran, but no danger of countries attempting to take military action. "The U.S. is already caught up in Iraq, and it will not use force against Iran," he said. Vasily Likhachyov, the deputy head of the upper house's international committee, said the Iranian leadership was "a very difficult party to hold talks with," but added that "they should acknowledge that there is no alternative to negotiations." "Regulation of the Iran situation should be in strict keeping with international law and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty," he said.
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