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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 February 2008, 23:12 GMT
Russia criticises Iran's defiance
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
President Ahmadinejad is resolute over Iran's nuclear programme
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has criticised Iran for its repeated declarations over its nuclear and rocket technology ambitions.

"We don't approve of Iran's permanent demonstration of its intentions to develop its rocket sector and continue to enrich uranium," Mr Lavrov said.

Mr Lavrov said Iran should refrain from raising international tensions.

Iran has been trying to develop the nuclear fuel capabilities and earlier this month fired a rocket into space.

"It's impossible to ignore the fact that problems with Iran's nuclear programme have arisen in recent years," Mr Lavrov was quoted by Russia's Interfax news agency as saying.

"While they haven't been resolved it would be better to refrain from actions that raise tensions and create the impression Iran is ignoring the international community," he said.

Mr Lavrov was speaking as he travelled back from an EU-Russia meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Western fears

Recently Russia spoke out after Iran launched a rocket into space, saying it raised suspicion over the true aim of its nuclear programme, which many Western nations say is aimed at developing nuclear weapons, but which Iran says is solely for energy production.

Iran said the rocket which was test-fired would be used to launch research satellites.

In the past, Russia has been more sceptical than some Western powers about Iran's missile capability, saying it would take a long time to build long-range missiles.

Russia has been supplying Tehran with uranium for the Bushehr nuclear power station being built by Moscow in the south of the country.

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