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    UN resolution on Iran must not be an ultimatum - Russia

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    A resolution being prepared by the United Nations Security Council on Iran's nuclear program must not include an ultimatum, but should make the requirements set by the UN nuclear watchdog binding, Russia's foreign minister said Friday.

    KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 (RIA Novosti) - A resolution being prepared by the United Nations Security Council on Iran's nuclear program must not include an ultimatum, but should make the requirements set by the UN nuclear watchdog binding, Russia's foreign minister said Friday.

    The resolution "will only confirm the requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and if Iran responds to the proposals of the six [countries mediating the issue] soon, it will not be necessary to adopt a resolution," Sergei Lavrov said at the ASEAN Regional Forum, a security conference attended by 25 countries and the European Union.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency has demanded that Iran re-impose a moratorium on its controversial nuclear research program and observe the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

    "I think that an Iran-6 proposal is very constructive, and gives full opportunities for putting forward any issues, and negotiating means for Iran to execute its legitimate right to develop its civilian nuclear energy sector," in conditions where nobody will have suspicions that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

    The five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany have drafted a package of incentives to persuade Iran to halt work on enriching uranium, which could be used in both electricity generation and weapons production. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana presented the offer to Tehran during a visit to Iran June 6.

    At their meeting July 12 in Paris, the foreign ministers of the six world powers said they regretted that Iran had not given a positive answer to their proposal, and said they were prepared to refer the Iran nuclear file to the UN Security Council, which could impose sanctions if the Islamic Republic were found to be in breach of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

    Lavrov said the lack of a response from Iran had forced the UN Security Council to resume work on an Iran resolution, which had been frozen to enable negotiations with the country.

    Lavrov said earlier this month that Iran-6 members were convinced that the UN Security Council should adopt a resolution to oblige Iran to halt uranium enrichment. If Iran refuses to cooperate, the international community would have to resort to punitive measures stipulated by the UN Charter.

    The leaders of the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations said at the recent G8 summit in St. Petersburg that they supported a decision by the Iran-6 to return discussions of the Iran nuclear issue to the UN Security Council.

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