AFP: Russia urged Iran again on Wednesday to give a prompt and positive response to a UN-drafted plan aimed at easing international concern over Tehran's nuclear programme. MOSCOW (AFP) — Russia urged Iran again on Wednesday to give a prompt and positive response to a UN-drafted plan aimed at easing international concern over Tehran's nuclear programme.
"We are counting on Tehran to give an official, positive response in the very near future," foreign ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko told journalists.
His comments came days after President Dmitry Medvedev repeated that fresh sanctions on Iran could not be ruled out if there were no forward progress in the standoff over Tehran's nuclear drive.
In Washington, the White House on Monday also pressed Iran to quickly respond to the deal, under which the Islamic Republic would send its uranium abroad for enrichment, or else risk fresh sanctions.
However the US envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna said Monday that Washington wanted to give Iran "some space" in negotiations on the deal.
"We want to give Iran some space," the US official, Glyn Davies, said. "It's a tough decision."
The proposed Iran nuclear deal, thrashed out under IAEA auspices, calls for Iran to agree to ship most of its known low-enriched uranium — about 1,200 kilogrammes — to Russia for further enrichment.
The material will then be turned into fuel by France and sent back to Iran, in a bid to prevent Tehran further enriching the uranium itself in a suspected drive to develop nuclear weapons.
Many countries suspect Iran aims to produce nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian nuclear energy programme. Tehran insists its programme is for peaceful energy use only.