Friday, August 25, 2006

Russia says no need to discuss Iran sanctions

MOSCOW (Reuters) - International concerns over Iran's nuclear programme do not warrant any discussion at the moment of sanctions against Tehran, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said on Friday.

"I know of no instances in world practice and previous experience in which sanctions have achieved their aim and proved effective," Ivanov, shown on NTV television, told reporters in Russia's far east.

"Moreover, I believe that the question is not so serious at the moment for the U.N. Security Council or the group of six to consider any introduction of sanctions. Russia stands for further political and diplomatic efforts to settle the issue."

Iran offered on Tuesday to start serious talks over its nuclear programme but there was no sign it had agreed to a U.N. Security Council demand that it freeze uranium enrichment by August 31 or face the prospect of sanctions.

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