Netherlands & Russia warns against complete isolation of Iran

The Foreign Ministers of The Netherlands and Russia on Tuesday warned against the complete isolation of Iran following President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's call for Israel to be "wiped off the map."

Speaking after a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot said the countries of the European Union were not inclined to impose harsh diplomatic penalties on the Iranian leadership, AFP reported.

"The countries of the European Union are not enthusiastic about the idea of completely isolating the Iranian president, temporarily suspending the country from the United Nations or calling back ambassadors from Tehran," he was quoted as saying by ANP news agency.

He said temporary financial penalties would suffice to send a "strong signal" to the Iranian authorities.

Lavrov said the international community should be careful not to create "a second North Korea" in Iran, referring to the isolated Stalinist regime in East Asia.

The two ministers held talks on the sidelines of the first visit to The Netherlands by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ahmadinejad touched off a storm of international criticism last week with his anti-Israel comments, which he later defended as "right and just," reports the AP. I.L.

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