Sergey Lavrov

Russia has once again rejected severe sanctions on Iran, offering instead a joint resolution with China that the International Atomic Energy Agency can consider for approval.

Ria Novosti reports that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in Astaneh, the Kazakhstan capital: “Our Western partners had proposed a severe set of sanctions for Iran at this meeting, but we firmly opposed it together with the Chinese delegations.”

He added that the proposal by Western countries will not lead to any progress in nuclear negotiations with Iran.

Lavrov stressed that the resolution proposed by Russia and China will give the agency an opportunity to work toward resolving Iran’s nuclear issues through negotiations.

The resolution, according to Lavrov, has been handed to the board of governors of the IAEA, and he expressed every hope that it would be passed unanimously.

Lavrov emphasized that Western countries’ harsh moves against Iran are ”unacceptable and not constructive.”

Russia and China have been very critical of the unilateral sanctions imposed on Iran in the past year by the United States and the European Union.

Russia has said that such sanctions are aimed at a regime change rather than a peaceful resolution to the nuclear disputes with Iran.