World digest: Iran sanctions unlikely soon, Kremlin says
Sanctions unlikely soon, Kremlin says
The Kremlin said Wednesday that sanctions against Iran are highly unlikely in the near future, the latest signal that Russia is not yet ready to raise the heat on Tehran to allay Western fears over its nuclear program.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has warned Western powers that they will gain nothing by trying to intimidate Tehran, and Russian officials have refused to publicly back the United States in threatening tougher sanctions against Iran.
"Sanctions in relation to Iran are hardly possible in the near future," the Interfax news agency quoted the Kremlin's top foreign policy aide, Sergei Prikhodko, as telling Russian reporters in Moscow.
Also Wednesday, a semiofficial Iranian news agency reported that Iran's envoy to the U.N. nuclear agency will present Tehran's position on a draft nuclear fuel deal in Vienna on Thursday.
The Mehr News Agency said Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh would personally give Iran's response to Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, on the U.N.-drafted proposal for Iran to send most of its enriched uranium abroad.
Echoing a report by Iranian state television Tuesday, Mehr said Iran would accept the framework of the U.N. plan but propose changes, a move that could unravel the plan and revive pressure for harsher sanctions.
Change sought on assisted-suicide law
The Swiss government said Wednesday that it is seeking to change the law on assisted suicide to ensure it is used only as a last resort by the terminally ill and to limit "death tourism."