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US Says Russia's Medvedev Backs Sanctions if Iran Fails to Comply


Top U.S. officials say Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has reaffirmed his view that Iran should face sanctions if it fails to comply with other efforts to clarify its nuclear program.

The officials told reporters that there was no major difference of opinion on Iran when Mr. Medvedev met U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Moscow Tuesday.

Last month, the Russian president said sanctions in some cases are inevitable, a statement welcomed by U.S. President Barack Obama and seen by some analysts as a shift in approach by Moscow, which has long opposed tough sanctions on Iran.

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday that imposing sanctions against Tehran at this stage would be "counterproductive."

After discussing the issue with Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it is not yet time for additional sanctions, but said the U.S. is still considering the measures if diplomacy proves unsuccessful.

She emphasized that both Moscow and Washington agree that Iran is entitled to peaceful nuclear energy, but not nuclear weapons.

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