Topic: Iran's nuclear program
There is still cause for concern about Iran's nuclear program as signals from the Islamic Republic have been far from encouraging, Russia's envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin said.
"The signals I have heard from Iran are not encouraging," he said. "Iran continues to set out terms, make excuses and say that it will persist in enriching uranium to 20%."
International pressure on Iran, suspected by the West of pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program, increased in early February when Tehran announced it had begun enriching uranium to 20% in lieu of an agreement on an exchange that would provide it with fuel for a research reactor.
On June 9, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1929 imposing a fourth set of sanctions on Iran, including tougher financial controls and an expanded arms embargo.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in early July that Tehran was ready to resume dialogue with the Iran Six group of international mediators, but would put off talks until the end of August in order to "punish" the West for imposing fresh sanctions.
He also said new sanctions would not affect the country's nuclear program.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned on Monday that Iran is close to acquiring the capability to make nuclear weapons and said the main aim of the latest UN resolution on Tehran was to restart the negotiation process as soon as possible.
"If diplomacy misses this chance, it will be a collective failure," he said.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Tuesday angrily dismissed Medvedev's remarks.
MOSCOW, July 14 (RIA Novosti)
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