Russia to act against Iran only in case of violation of nonproliferation treaty

"Russia could support measures in the (U.N.) Security Council only in the event that Iran starts to act contrary to its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which includes cooperation with IAEA inspectors who are currently at Iranian (nuclear) facilities," Sergey Lavrov told lawmakers, referring to the Vienna, Austria-based International Atomic Engery Agency, or IAEA.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana on Tuesday presented a package of incentives to Iran in an effort to persuade it to stop enriching uranium.

The incentives were agreed upon last week by the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany, and are said to include European offers of help in building nuclear reactors for a peaceful energy program.

Russia has indicated it would not oppose sanctions against Iran if Tehran refuses the package, Western diplomats say, although Russian officials have never confirmed this, the AP reports.

Russia and China so far had not softened their opposition to sanctions, said Anton Khlopkov, deputy director of the PIR think-tank in Moscow, which specializes in non-proliferation and security issues.

Both countries have major commercial ties with Iran; Lavrov said Wednesday that Russia's US$800 million ( Ђ 623 million) contract to build Tehran's first nuclear power station and other deals were not in doubt because of the nuclear dispute.