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    A senior Russian lawmaker said Friday that possible sanctions against Iran, which has refused to halt uranium enrichment by a United Nations deadline, would be futile.

    MOSCOW, September 1 (RIA Novosti) - A senior Russian lawmaker said Friday that possible sanctions against Iran, which has refused to halt uranium enrichment by a United Nations deadline, would be futile.

    "Practice shows that Mideast regimes are resilient to sanctions. So the sense in enforcing them is debatable," Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the upper house of parliament's committee for international affairs, said in a statement.

    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. However, hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country would not give up its right to nuclear technology.

    Margelov said sanctions against the Islamic Republic would not necessarily cause a change of power within the country, which is what proponents of sanctions are hoping for. Most of the population of this volatile region "lives badly, even without sanctions, but the authorities are always helped out by international corruption," he said, adding that talks would be more effective.

    Countries that suspect Iran of pursuing a clandestine nuclear weapons program, most prominently the United States, have backed the idea of sanctions. However, Russia and China, both permanent members of the UN Security Council, oppose harsh penalties. Iran has given no definite response to a package of incentives put forward by the six world powers mediating the issue.

    The Russian lawmaker said the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which permits only five nations to own nuclear weapons, and to which Iran is a signatory, is based on "a carrot-and-stick principle."

    "The stick, which has already been used against Iran, doesn't seem to have frightened anyone there. The size of a carrot capable of outweighing Iran's ambition to become a regional leader is hard to imagine," Margelov said.

    "So the crisis is in full swing," he concluded.

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