Russia on Wednesday joined China in suggesting that the new US intelligence report confirming the peaceful nature of Tehran's nuclear program must end the Western threats of more sanctions against Iran.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the US report would weigh against a third UN sanctions resolution punishing Tehran, which Washington is pushing hard for at the Security Council.

Lavrov rejected the US intelligence report's claim that Iran once had an active military atomic project.

"We have no information that such a project existed before 2003, although American colleagues stated that the situation was exactly that," Lavrov said, according to Interfax.

IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei, whose inspectors have been investigating Iran's nuclear drive for four years, called for immediate negotiations between Iran and its Western critics.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad described the US intelligence report as a "great victory".

The US report released Monday said that Iran does not have a military nuclear program.

It contradicted White House warnings that Iran was closing in fast on the ability to produce its own nuclear weapon.

Lavrov's statements echoed remarks by the Chinese ambassador to the United Nations, Wang Guangya.

On Tuesday Wang said: "We will study the contents and also think about the implications for the (UN Security) Council's action here."

Pressed by reporters on whether the assessment might make new sanctions against Iran less likely in the near term, the Chinese diplomat said: "I think Council members will have to consider that, because... now things have changed."

Russia and China are two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and can veto any resolution.

They have both been reluctant to back previous measures against Iran.

Moscow, which is close to completing construction of Iran's first nuclear power station in Bushehr, rejects US claims that Iran presents a military threat.