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Russia Seriously Concerned By Iran's Use Of Force

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russia has said it is seriously concerned by the use of force in Iran after a disputed presidential election and urged Tehran to settle all issues in a democratic way, Interfax news agency reported.

"We naturally express our most serious concern about the use of force and the death of civilians," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying on the sidelines of a meeting of Group of Eight foreign ministers in Italy.

"We count on all questions which have arisen in the context of the elections being resolved in accordance with democratic procedures," Lavrov said.

Russia and China earlier this month congratulated Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad on his controversial reelection as he attended a summit in Russia.

Official results handed Ahmadinejad a landslide victory while defeated candidate Mir Hossein Musavi has said the vote was rigged.

Group of Eight powers deplored the postelection violence in Iran and called on Tehran to resolve the crisis soon through democratic dialogue.