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  Wednesday, June 19, 2019
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Extra measures against Iran must be gradual, and proportional to the real threat to non-proliferation of nuclear weapons
Extra measures against Iran must be gradual, and proportional to the real threat to non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, Russia's foreign minister said Friday. Sergei Lavrov's remarks came in response to the recent announcement of unilateral sanctions by the United States against Tehran. Lavrov said, "We must not allow a situation to arise where the Iran-6 and the UN Security Council take decisions that push us all into a confrontation with Iran, and which do not strengthen the non-proliferation regime, but give reasons to weaken it, provoking emotional actions in response from Iran, on limiting its cooperation with the IAEA. We do not want this." Representatives of the Iran-6 - the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany - are meeting in London Friday to discuss whether to refer Iran to the Security Council over its nuclear program. The United States and the United Kingdom are pressing for sanctions over fears that the Islamic Republic is carrying out a nuclear weapons program, but Russia and China, both key economic partners of Iran, have condemned the use of force and ultimatums. The Russian foreign minister said that the UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, "maintains a presence in Iran, and is monitoring Iran's activities through its nuclear program," but conceded that the IAEA should have give broader access to facilities. The IAEA does not yet have proof that the Islamic Republic's nuclear program has a military goal, but cannot prove that it does not, he said. "The IAEA's presence in Iran is the international community's most important instrument for observing what goes on there," Lavrov said. European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said earlier in the week that extensive talks with Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, aimed at persuading Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment, had been inconclusive.
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