Agence France Presse – Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, welcomed Monday an amended draft UN resolution targeting Iran’s nuclear programme, saying it was now based on "Russia’s proposals," the official RIA Novosti news agency reported.
"The draft resolution differs from the version worked out originally and contains changes based on Russia’s proposals, which take into account the need to push Iran to sit at the negotiating table," Lavrov was quoted as saying.
Ambassadors of the UN Security Council’s five permanent members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — plus Germany were expected to meet Monday to consider the revised resolution, which aims to punish Iran for refusing to halt uranium enrichment.
The changes were introduced by the draft’s European sponsors to win over Russia and China, which have veto power on the Security Council and have consistently opposed what they describe as overly aggressive measures against Iran.
The latest European text, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, would mandate a ban on trade with Iran on goods related to its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and impose financial and travel restrictions on persons and entities involved.
Lavrov underlined that the proposed resolution would have no effect on Russia’s lucrative contract to build the first nuclear power station in Iran at Bushehr.
"Concerning Bushehr, it has absolutely no relation to the resolution," Lavrov said. "There can be absolutely no discussion of limitations on this project."
Washington, which accuses Iran of hiding a bomb-making programme behind its civilian nuclear power work, has previously expressed concern over Bushehr.