'Russia won't sanction Iran in US deal'

Moscow will reportedly refuse to toughen sanctions on Teheran as part of nuke cuts agreement.

obama medvedev 248.88 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
obama medvedev 248.88 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
A Russian Foreign Ministry source was quoted Tuesday as saying that Moscow would not impose tougher sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program in exchange for a new nuclear arms cuts deal with Washington. Reuters cited an Interfax report which quoted the source as saying, "There are no reasons to link these issues or count on Russia being more cooperative in toughening sanctions against Iran if there is progress in talks with the United States on further cuts in strategic offensive weapons." The comment referred to negotiations between US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev over the START I agreement, a pact regulating the number of long-range nuclear weapons held by the US and Russia, which expires on December 5. Russia has consistently shown reluctance to place strong sanctions on Iran, with which it enjoys trade ties. However, Reuters quoted a Kremlin source as saying that the remarks on Iran did not indicate any change in the vibe of the negotiations. "It was nothing more than an exchange of remarks over a specific suggestion," the source was quoted as saying.