China, Russia pressured to back sanctions: Iran official

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A senior Iranian official said Friday that his country was not isolated, and claimed that China and Russia had been pressured into backing fresh nuclear sanctions against Iran.

"Russia and China obviously they advocate an approach based on diplomacy but they were under pressure from the United States through other ways," said Mohammad Javad Larijani, secretary general of Iran's High Council for Human Rights.

"For example, Russia was severely under pressure from the United States by the European security arrangement and installation of missiles. So they have ways to push these two countries around," he said.

"No, our position is not isolated, I think it has the wide support of the international community," said Larijani.

"I believe that this initiative of our president is at the end going to work out and settle this dispute because our resolve to continue developing our nuclear technology for peaceful use is really strong," added the official.

Twelve nations on the Security Council including China and Russia voted Wednesday in favour of a fourth set of sanctions on Iran over its uranium enrichment. Lebanon abstained and Brazil and Turkey voted against.

Larijani claimed that the "leader for this hostile line is the United States and Britain."

On a visit to China, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also blasted the United States for the fresh sanctions, but shied away from criticising his host country.

"The main problem is the US administration, and we have no problem with others," he told reporters, accusing the United States of seeking to "swallow" the Middle East.

Russia on Friday signalled a tougher line on Tehran, indicating it was scrapping the controversial sale of S-300 missiles to the Islamic republic after the new sanctions.

"S-300 supplies to Iran fall under UN sanctions," a Kremlin source said in Tashkent where President Dmitry Medvedev attended a summit of a regional security body led by Moscow and Beijing.

© 2010 AFP

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