Iran Nuclear NewsRussia dismisses G-7 concerns over risks of dealing with...

Russia dismisses G-7 concerns over risks of dealing with Iran

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Bloomberg: Russia dismissed concerns by Group of Seven finance ministers and central bankers over Iran, after the group rebuked the country, calling on banks worldwide to be wary of risks of doing business with the Islamic republic. By Halia Pavliva

Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) — Russia dismissed concerns by Group of Seven finance ministers and central bankers over Iran, after the group rebuked the country, calling on banks worldwide to be wary of risks of doing business with the Islamic republic.

The group has praised the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, a 34-government agency also known as FATF, “for taking steps to protect the international financial system from the various money-laundering and terrorist-financing risks related to Iran,” the G-7 said in a statement on Oct. 19 in Washington.

“There are no such facts in Iran; such facts haven’t been established,” Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said in an interview in Washington on Oct. 21. “This issue was discussed without Russia’s participation.”

The G7 statement, aimed at blocking Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s regime from the global financial system, marked the first time finance ministers and central bank governors collectively singled out Iran, according to a review of communiques issued since the group began meeting in the mid- 1980s.

“We are yet to establish if there are such risks,” Kudrin said. FATF concluded earlier this month that Iran represents a “significant vulnerability” to the international financial system.

Iran, the No. 2 oil producer in the Middle East, is defying two sets of United Nations sanctions by pressing ahead with plans to enrich uranium. Ahmadinejad maintains the program is meant to produce electricity. Russia is building a nuclear power plant in southwest Iran.

Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed Iran’s nuclear program with Ahmadinejad on a one-day visit to Tehran on Oct. 16.

President George W. Bush, who maintains Iran’s government intends to build nuclear weapons, is pushing for another round of UN sanctions. That effort is being opposed by Russia, which holds a veto in the UN Security Council. Bush said earlier this week that a nuclear-armed Iran risks World War III.

Besides the U.S. and France, the G-7 includes Japan, Germany, the U.K., Italy and Canada. Russia participates only as an observer.

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