MOSCOW, September 1 (RIA Novosti) - Russia regrets Iran's refusal to comply with a UN resolution to stop its uranium enrichment program, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday.
The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1696 July 31, demanding that Iran suspend uranium enrichment by August 31 or face possible economic and diplomatic sanctions.
"Mohammed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, presented his report. We share his position and express regret that Iran did not comply with UN Resolution 1696 and did not abandon its uranium enrichment program by the deadline," Mikhail Kamynin told a news conference.
The IAEA report said that Tehran has not suspended its uranium enrichment activities and has been blocking IAEA inspectors from inspecting Iran's nuclear facilities.
Kamynin said in a statement that representatives from the six powers mediating the Iranian nuclear crisis, as well as members of the UN Security Council, will meet soon to discuss further actions in relation to Iran.
The United States has long been pushing for sanctions against the Islamic Republic under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, while Russia and China, which both have a veto in the Security Council, have consistently called for a more cautious approach, saying they will not support harsh measures.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday Russia can agree on a variety of ways to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue, but only if they do not hinder the ultimate settlement.
"Russia may consider a variety of ways to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue, but only those that would move us closer to the goal [the settlement], rather than put obstacles on the road toward it," Lavrov told a news conference.
Lavrov said it was necessary to maintain the nuclear non-proliferation regime and take into account the right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
Following Lavrov's statement, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said the foreign ministers of the UN Security's Council five permanent members and Germany will meet September 6 in Vienna to discuss Iran's controversial nuclear programs.
"As far as I know, on September 6 the foreign ministers of the six countries involved in resolving the conflict plan are to meet in Vienna to coordinate actions on the Iranian nuclear problem," said Ivanov, who is also Russia's defense minister.