Monday, February 06, 2006

Russians say We can only act on Iran with UN Permission

Russia Warns Against Conflict With Iran
Feb 06 10:17 AM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer
Russia's foreign minister warned against threatening Iran over its nuclear program Monday after Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld reportedly agreed with a German interviewer that all options, including military response, remained on the table.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called for talks to continue with Tehran, which was reported to the U.N. Security Council on Saturday by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
"I think that at the current stage, it is important not to make guesses about what will happen and even more important not to make threats," Lavrov said during a visit to Athens, Greece.

Rumsfeld, in an interview with the German daily newspaper Handelsblatt, was asked if all options, including the military one, were on the table with Iran.
"That's right," Rumsfeld responded, according to Handelsblatt's print edition Monday.

Lavrov said the use of force would be possible only if the United Nations consented.

Iran reiterated its stance that it would not negotiate with the United States.
"There is no debate about relations and negotiation with the U.S. There has been no change in our policy," Gholamhossein Elham, Iran's government spokesman, said Monday.

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