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EU Oil, Gas Sanctions Undermine Talks With Iran, Russia Says

European oil and gas sanctions undermine talks with Iran and damage the “unity of international mediators,” Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said in an emailed statement.

Russia is “deeply concerned by new European Union unilateral sanctions” against Iran, adopted Oct. 15, the ministry said. It said Russia will continue pushing for a new round of talks with Iran as soon as possible, according to the statement.

The EU and U.S. have tightened sanctions on Iran in the past year, saying the measures are needed to curb the Islamic republic’s nuclear program. Iran denies accusations it is seeking to build atomic bombs and says the program is for civilian purposes.

Russia, along with the other four members of the United Nations Security Council, is part of a group that has held a series of talks with Iran seeking a compromise on its nuclear development. Israel has threatened to carry out military strikes to stop Iran’s nuclear program if diplomacy doesn’t work, and the U.S. hasn’t ruled out military action for the same purpose.

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