Russia opposes new sanctions on Iran

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Russia opposes new sanctions on Iran

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Iran has dismissed a new report by the UN’s atomic watchdog which claims its developing nuclear weapons.

The International Atomic Energy Agency says Tehran is on the brink of developing a warhead.

But Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has rejected the allegations and accused the agency of “discrediting itself by its association with the United States.”

“We don’t need atomic bombs. This is a wise nation and we won’t make two bombs against the 20,000 bombs you have,” he said in comments directed at the West.

His sentiments seem at least to be partial shared by Russia which has ruled out supporting fresh sanctions backed by Washington, Britain and France.

Russia has close ties with Iran and built a nuclear power plant that was switched on in the Islamic republic this year. It has repeatedly said too much pressure on Tehran is counter-productive.

The IAEA points to high explosives testing carried out by Iran and there are indications that Iran has detonator development to set off a nuclear charge.

The report also cites preparatory work for a nuclear weapons test and development of a nuclear payload for Iran’s Shahab 3 intermediate-range missile – a weapon that can reach Israel.

The West is seeking to use the IAEA report as leverage to possible tougher sanctions on Iran, but Israel and others including the United States and Britain have said military options remain on the table.