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Russia wants UN guarantees on Iranian nuclear contract

UNSC held deliberations on a resolution drafted by the five permanent members.

world Updated: Mar 22, 2007 17:14 IST

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) should guarantee that its new resolution on Iran will not undermine Russia's contracts with the Iran, the Russian envoy to the UN said on Thursday.

The 15 members of the UNSC on Wednesday held their first deliberations on a resolution drafted by the five permanent members plus Germany to punish Iran for its failure to halt uranium enrichment.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said: "All of the Security Council's five permanent members will make a statement on planned financial restrictions, which will make it clear that these financial restrictions do not affect earlier signed contracts that are already being implemented."

Russia is pursuing several joint nuclear projects with Iran, the largest being a $1 billion reactor at Bushehr.

The new resolution would ban Iranian arms exports and freeze the assets of 28 individuals and organisations involved in Iran's nuclear and missile programmes.

It would also impose restrictions on travel by individuals subject to sanctions, as well as on arms sales and financial assistance to the Iranian government.

The New York Times said earlier this week that Russia had stopped delivering fuel to the Bushehr plant, applauding the alleged move as evidence that US pressure on the international community to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon was bearing fruit.

However, Russian officials dismissed the interpretation as false, putting down the delivery delay to a dispute over payments.