Russia turns on 'irresponsible Iran'

Iran dismisses diplomatic assault as EU, Canada impose sanctions.

July 26, 2010 21:46
2 minute read.
Russia turns on 'irresponsible Iran'

ahmadinejad 248.88. (photo credit: )


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Russia turned on Iran, accusing it of "fruitless and irresponsible rhetoric" and adding its voice to a diplomatic assault Monday which included unilateral sanctions from both the EU and Canada, as well as warnings from Iran's opposition party that Ahmadinejad's regime could suffer the same fate as the deposed Shah.

The Russian remark came after criticism from Tehran over Moscow's support for UN sanctions last month. In the past, Iran had depended on allies Russia and China — and their veto power at the Security Council — to block tough penalties, but Russia sided with the US and its allies and endorsed the sanctions, levied in a bid to force Iran to halt its nuclear ambitions.

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The Russian Foreign Ministry suggested "Iran's leaders take concrete and constructive steps to work the situation out."

The European Union and Canada formally adopted unilateral sanctions against Iran earlier Monday which target the country's energy, banking, and foreign trade sectors.

The move came on the heels of the unilateral US sanctions passed last month by the Senate.
June's sanctions showed signs of affecting Iran's airline industry. The EU sanctions were agreed to in principle by European leaders in June, and are the latest in a series of measures taken by the international community in an effort to halt Iran's nuclear program.

"We have a comprehensive set of sanctions. This is something where we have all 27 countries working together," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said ahead of the meeting.

In Canada, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said the country's new measures will include a ban on any new Canadian investment in Iran's oil and gas sector, and restrictions on exporting goods that could be used in nuclear programs.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper explained Canada's sanctions, saying"These sanctions are in no way intended to punish the Iranian people," said Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. "These targeted measures are designed to hamper attempts by Iran to develop nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programs" and to persuade the country to engage in negotiations.

An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman dismissed the sanctions, saying they "will not affect Iran," and only "complicate the situation and push the sides further away from reaching agreement."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad responded to UN sanctions in June by saying they were "worthless" and should only go into "the trash bin," in a report cited by Bloomberg News.

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