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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lavrov Says Sanctions Would Isolate Iran

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that a European draft resolution imposing sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear program would isolate Iran, suggesting that Moscow would not support approval of the measure in its current form, news agencies reported.

"We cannot support measures that in essence are aimed at isolating Iran from the outside world, including isolating people who are called upon to conduct negotiations on the nuclear program, Interfax quoted Lavrov as saying.

Lavrov also reiterated his claim that the draft resolution, meant to punish Iran for its persistent refusal to halt uranium enrichment activities that have heightened fears it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons, goes beyond existing agreements among nations seeking to rein in Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

"The draft ... goes far outside the framework of agreements," he said.

The European draft orders all countries to prevent the sale and supply of material and technology that could contribute to Iran's nuclear and missile programs. It orders countries to freeze the assets of companies and organizations involved in Iran's nuclear and missile programs, and also imposes a travel ban and freezes the assets of people involved in these programs -- a measure Lavrov appeared to be referring to in his remark suggesting it would hamper negotiators.

Interfax said Lavrov's remarks came in response to a question on whether Russia completely rejects the European draft or intends to seek changes.