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Russia Expresses 'Regret' Over Iran Enrichment As Oil Pressure On Tehran Mounts


An oil tanker near Kharg Island, a major oil-export terminal for Iran.

An oil tanker near Kharg Island, a major oil-export terminal for Iran.

The Russian Foreign Ministry says Moscow has received news of boosted uranium enrichment by Iran “with regret and worry,” adding that “Iran continues to ignore the demands of the international community on removing the anxiety over its nuclear program."

The announcement comes as European Union governments agreed to bring forward a meeting of foreign ministers due to decide on an oil embargo on Iran by one week to January 23.

EU states have already agreed in principle to an embargo on Iranian oil as part of a Western push to step up pressure on Tehran over its nuclear program.

In Berlin, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he would call for “broad and strict sanctions.”

"At the next meeting of EU foreign ministers, I will lobby for broad and strict sanctions," Westerwelle said. "I truly believe that the option of Iran's nuclear armament must be prevented because it is not only a question of Israel's security, or the balance in the region, but it is more a question of the balance in the international community. It is serious, and not just an intellectual argument."

The United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed on January 9 that Iran is now enriching uranium to 20 percent at the Fordow underground facility, southwest of Tehran.

compiled from agency reports

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