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‘Paralyzing sanctions’ purged from Iran draft: Russia

The new UN Security Council draft resolution against Iran contains no paralyzing sanctions and takes into account the interests of Russia and China, the Russian foreign minister said Friday.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said initial versions of the resolution did not suit Moscow and Beijing but the draft was changed as a result of intensive discussions between world powers.

“We excluded conditions aimed at imposing paralyzing sanctions and in the end the draft is focused exclusively on tasks of non-proliferation of nuclear arms,” he said after talks with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi.

“As much as possible it takes into account the economic interests of Russia and China,” he added.

Lavrov also said both China and Russia were against a “forcing” of the process of voting at the UN Security Council, so that non-permanent member states of the body could offer their opinions.

He said that work on the draft was now coming to an end, taking into account suggestions made by the states that hold a rotating position on the council.

China and Russia, permanent veto-wielding UN Security Council members, have traditionally acted to water down tough Western-sponsored resolutions against Tehran.

The positions of both countries in the Iranian nuclear standoff have usually closely reflected one other.

However Russia in particular has in the last months been increasingly open about its frustration with Tehran, prompting an angry reaction from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.