Russia ‘very alarmed’ by Iran nuclear report

Iran was driven deeper into international isolation yesterday after Russia said it was “very alarmed” by a leaked UN report which directly accused the country of building a nuclear weapon for the first time.

Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said Moscow had lost patience with the regime after UN weapons inspectors declared for the first time on Thursday that it was seeking to “weaponise” its nuclear stocks.

“We are very alarmed and we cannot accept this, that Iran is refusing to co-operate with the IAEA,” Mr Lavrov said. “Some questions remain on the table and Iran has so far not reacted to them but they are rather serious and we need to understand how several documents concerning military nuclear technology found their way to Iran.

“Clear explanations are needed.”

The strong denunciation was a departure for Russia, which has been a brake on efforts to censure Iran until recently.

Iran suffered a double blow on Thursday when a G20 report on money laundering identified the Islamic Republic as the worst violator of laws against funding terrorism and the proliferation of weapons. The report also hinted at concerns that banks in Syria and Turkey, two other nations cited for involvement in terrorism financing, were acting as an axis to help Iran evade UN financial sanctions.

America’s Treasury Department said the report would be a powerful weapon against Iran. “We welcome [the] call today for its members and all jurisdict… >>>

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