Russia opposes any use of force against Iran

Russia's Security Council chief in Teheran to discuss standoff; Rice, Lavrov discuss crisis ahead of crucial meeting next week.

lavrov 298.88 (photo credit: Associated Press)
lavrov 298.88
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Russia's Security Council chief, Igor Ivanov, said Sunday that Russia is opposed to any use of force against Iran over its controversial nuclear program, Iran's state-run television reported. "Unlike the US, Russia believes Iran's nuclear program needs to be resolved only through dialogue. Any use of force will further complicate the issue and will cause tension in the region," Ivanov was quoted as saying by the television. Ivanov made the comments during a meeting with Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani. The head of Russia's security council arrived in Teheran late Saturday to discuss the standoff over Iran's nuclear program, including incentives to be offered as a reward if Iran suspends uranium enrichment. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed the standoff surrounding Iran's nuclear program with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The two diplomats talked by telephone Saturday about ongoing efforts to resolve the dispute diplomatically, the ministry said, but gave no further details. Lavrov and Rice are scheduled to meet with top diplomats from other world powers next week to decide on a package of incentives for Iran to stop enriching uranium. Russia and China have opposed calls by the United States, Britain and France for a UN Security Council resolution that would threaten sanctions and be enforceable by military action if Iran does not give up enrichment efforts. But a compromise is emerging that would rule out military action and call for new consultations among the five permanent UN Security Council members on any further steps against Iran, diplomats said.