The explanation was that the sanctions “will be seen in the international community as an instrument for regime change in Iran.” Kicking the can down the road, with another round of time-buying sanctions that would be generally ineffectual in halting the Iranian nuclear program, would be a funny way of going about regime change. “Russia rules out new Iran sanctions over nuclear report,” from BBC News, November 9:
Russia has ruled out supporting fresh sanctions against Iran, despite a UN report that says Tehran may be trying to develop nuclear weapons.
Britain, France and the US all said they would pursue new sanctions against Iran in the wake of the IAEA report.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said the report showed the need for the world to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons.
The US and its allies suspect Iran of trying to develop a nuclear bomb, which Tehran denies.
The Iranian government insists that its nuclear programme is for peaceful means.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told Interfax news agency that extra sanctions “will be seen in the international community as an instrument for regime change in Iran”.
“That approach is unacceptable to us, and the Russian side does not intend to consider such proposals.”
The Russian foreign ministry later issued another statement saying that the report “does not contain fundamentally new information”.
However, Mr Netanyahu accused Iran of endangering world peace.
“The significance of the report is that the international community must bring about the cessation of Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons which endanger the peace of the world and of the Middle East,” he said in a statement.
“The IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] report corroborates the position of the international community, and of Israel that Iran is developing nuclear weapons,” Mr Netanyahu added.
The IAEA said it had information indicating Iran had carried out tests “relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device”.
The report – published on the Institute for Science and International Security website – says the research includes computer models that could only be used to develop a nuclear bomb trigger.
It documents alleged Iranian work on the kind of implosion device that would be needed to detonate a nuclear weapon….