Russian diplomat says existing sanctions against Iran sufficient

Aug. 1, 2013 at 11:24 AM

MOSCOW, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- If Iran is subjected to more sanctions, its economy will be smothered, a senior Russian diplomat said Thursday after the U.S. House approved more sanctions.

Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said sanctions already approved by the U.N. Security Council are adequate to ensure Iran doesn't develop nuclear weapons, RIA Novosti reported.

"We are working on the basis that the [U.N.] Security Council has already passed several resolutions containing sanctions against Iran," Gatilov said. "What was done is adequate and sufficient to ensure the non-proliferation of [nuclear] weapons. Any further sanctions are aimed at the economic suffocation of Iran."

The U.S. House passed a bill Wednesday that would impose new sanctions against Iranian mining, construction and oil industries. The bill still needs to be approved by the Senate and signed into law by President Obama.

The vote came as moderate Hassan Rouhani prepares to be inaugurated as Iran's president Sunday.

International sanctions against Iran have been put in place because of the country's nuclear program, which Western countries charge is producing nuclear weapons, something Tehran denies.

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