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Russia divided on Iran's nuke ambitions: Bolton

Written by: Staff

United Nations, Jun 7: Russia's government is divided over Iran's nuclear program and the United States must try to support those in the Kremlin who fear the threat of Iranian nuclear weapons as much as Washington does, US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said.

''I think there is a real debate inside the Kremlin right now,'' Bolton said in an interview on Fox News yesterday.

Washington's job was to do what it could to help those whose views coincided with its own to ''prevail in those debates,'' he said.

The United States has been the leading advocate of international action against Iran if it refuses to suspend its nuclear enrichment activities despite incentives offered it by the U.N. Security Council's five permanent members, Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany.

Russia, while it supports the incentives package, has blocked U.S. efforts to make demands on Tehran under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, a move that would make the demands binding under international law.

Russian officials have said they feared the U.S. strategy could quickly lead to U.N. sanctions or even military action.

Russia and China, while opposing nuclear arms for Iran, say they remain uncertain of Tehran's motives.

Iran argues it wants only to generate electricity for civilian use, but Western powers fear Iran seeks a civilian energy program as a cover for making nuclear weapons.

''One of the motivating factors (for Moscow) is that Iran causes us more trouble than it causes Russia at the moment. But that is a precarious gamble for the Russians to make,'' Bolton said.


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