Friday, January 27, 2012

Anti-Iran sanctions, dead end: Russia

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov

Source: Press TV

Russia's deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has lashed out at the unilateral sanctions by Western countries against Iran's oil industry, describing the policy as ineffective.

In an interview with Echo Moscow radio station on Friday, Ryabkov said imposing unilateral embargoes on Iran has reached a “dead end.”

The Russian official went on to say that stepping up anti-Iran pressure “gets nowhere,” stressing that negotiation is the only opportunity to resolve dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.

In a statement issued on January 20, EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton announced that the P5+1 -- the US, the UK, France, China, Russia, and Germany -- is ready to resume talks with Iran.

The last round of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 was held in Turkish city of Istanbul in January 2011.

Russia has repeatedly criticized the International Atomic Energy Agency for its November report.

The IAEA report accused Iran of conducting activities related to developing nuclear weapons before 2003, adding that these activities "may still be ongoing."

Iran, however, dismissed the allegation as "unbalanced, unprofessional and prepared with political motivation and under political pressure mostly by the US."

Ryabkov emphasized that P5+1 talks were fruitless, "because some members of this group have no clear understanding about the point that nobody would tolerate sanctions."

EU foreign ministers reached an agreement on January 23 to impose an immediate ban on oil imports from Iran over the country's nuclear program as of July 1.

The 27-member bloc agreed to ban oil imports as well as petroleum products from the major OPEC member state and freeze the assets of the Central Bank of Iran across the EU.

The EU also imposed a ban on the sale of diamonds, gold and other precious metals to Iran.

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