The Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement Tuesday expressing “regret” and “concern” for Iran’s decision to enrich uranium near the city of Qom, despite the fact that Russia has persistently shielded the Islamic Republic from more severe UN Security Council resolutions.

“Hopefully, Iran will listen to our opinion about the need for further close cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and the soonest beginning of serious negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program with the Sextet without preconditions,” the statement continued.

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