Russia’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that new European Union sanctions against Iran show scorn for the United Nations and the six nations working to resolve disputes over Iran’s nuclear programme.
The EU on Monday adopted new sanctions targeting Iran’s foreign trade, banking and energy sectors.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said the move “not only undermines our joint strength in the search for a political—diplomatic resolution of the situation around Iran’s nuclear programme but demonstrates scorn for the carefully developed and agreed—upon position of the U.N. Security Council resolution.”
Russia, a member of the sextet negotiating with Iran, supported the U.N. sanctions adopted last month, but has objected to stronger measures. The sextet also comprises the United States, China, France, Britain and Germany.
Russia has generally been an ally of Iran, but has shown increasing frustration with Tehran over its failure to resolve suspicions that it aims to develop nuclear weapons. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last week accused Russia of turning against his country by supporting the most recent sanctions; the Russian Foreign Ministry on Monday called his remarks “irresponsible rhetoric.”
Russia built Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant, which the United States and Western critics have alleged could be part of Iran’s weapons—development efforts. Russia rejects those claims.
Bushehr is expected to go into operation this year. On Tuesday, the head of Russia’s atomic energy agency, Sergei Kirienko, was quoted by the ITAR—Tass news agency as saying that delivery of fuel into the plant’s reactor section should be finished by the end of August.