“We speak out categorically against cranking up a spiral of tension and confrontation on issues linked with Iran. We believe that this … is fraught with severe consequences,” Reuters quoted Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich as saying on Thursday.

“The increasing tensions in relations with Tehran is essentially blocking the renewal of talks” between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia, and the US — plus Germany over Tehran’s nuclear program, he told a news briefing.

The comments came after foreign ministers of the European Union (EU) imposed fresh sanctions against 180 Iranian individuals and companies on Thursday, but failed to impose an embargo on the country’s oil sector.

The EU ministers further claimed that they would keep working on developing additional measures which would directly affect Iran’s oil industry.

On November 21, the United States, Britain and Canada imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran’s energy and financial sectors after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a bogus report on Tehran’s nuclear program on November 8, which claimed Iran’s nuclear program had a military aspect.

“We are talking about the counterproductive, ill-timed and weakly based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report,” Lukashevich said.

“We are also talking about the imposition by some states of extra-territorial, unilateral sanctions … and the completely unacceptable threats of the use of force against Iran,” he added.

The IAEA report on Iran was dismissed by Tehran as “unbalanced, unprofessional and prepared with political motivation and under political pressure by mostly the United States.”

The United States, Israel, and some of their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program and have used this pretext to push for the imposition of sanctions as well as to call for an attack on the country.

Iran, however, refutes such allegations as “baseless” and maintains that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the IAEA, it has every right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

The IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities, but has never found any evidence indicating that Tehran’s civilian nuclear program has been diverted towards weapons production.

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