Sergei Lavrov (file photo) (Council of Europe)
October 26, 2006 -- Russia today criticized a draft United Nations resolution providing for some form of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear ambitions.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said sanctions would complicate diplomatic efforts to resolve months of confrontation between Tehran and the West.
Lavrov said the resolution, put forward by Western European countries spearheading efforts to curb Iran's nuclear program, will be unhelpful to six-power talks on the issue.
Britain, France, Germany, and the United States are promoting the resolution, but diplomats say the Washington also wants restrictions on Russia's construction of an $800-million nuclear reactor in Iran.
They say the United States wants assurances the plant in Bushehr will not provide Iran with a fuel cycle capable of producing weapons.
But U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns says he believes agreement will be reached and that Bushehr will not be a "major stumbling point."
A demonstration in support of Iran's nuclear program outside the Isfahan uranium-conversion facility in Isfahan in January (epa)
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THE COMPLETE PICTURE: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.
CHRONOLOGY An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.