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17 January 2012 - 21:55

Russia's deputy Foreign Minister says Moscow is against any military strike or escalation of international sanctions against Tehran as such measures only aggravate the existing situation.

"Any military strike on Iran is unacceptable, they will help to ensure that the situation will become even more critical," Gennady Gatilov was quoted by Ria Novosti as saying on Tuesday.

Asked about the escalation of international sanctions against Tehran, he underscored that "sanctions have long exhausted themselves and no longer add anything positive to the main objective [of facilitating] negotiation process."

"Russia opposes the adoption of new sanctions against Iran. In this case, Russia, for its part, rejects such initiatives," Gatilov added.

The Russian deputy foreign minister also stressed Moscow's support for Iran's readiness to restart negotiations with P5+1, which comprises five permanent members of the Security Council - United States, Russia, China, Britain, and France plus Germany.

"We have always advocated the resumption of negotiations between Iran and the six powers…. It was our initiative and we've always called for it," he added.

Washington and Tel Aviv have repeatedly threatened Tehran with the "option" of a military strike, based on the allegation that Iran's nuclear work may consist of a covert military aspect.

The US and Europe have been also proposing new sanctions against Iran's financial and energy sectors which aim to prevent the country from exporting its crude oil.

The measures came after director general of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, released his latest report on Iran's nuclear program on November 8, 2011.

Iranian officials have warned that if the country is deprived of oil exports, it will take measures, including closing the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

Iran's Navy staged massive 10-day maneuvers last month in the vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz as a clear warning against the imposition of new sanctions on Iran by Western countries.

Tehran argues that as a member of IAEA and a signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
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News ID 181392