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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia, U.S. say new sanctions against Iran possible

RIA Novosti

02:38 24/09/2009 NEW YORK, September 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russian and U.S. leaders said on Wednesday they were set to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic efforts, but new sanctions were still a possibility if Iran does not respond.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that he and Obama had given full attention to Iran's nuclear dossier at their meeting and that Russia was ready to continue cooperation with the United States on Iran's nuclear issue.

"Our task is to create a system of incentives that would allow the peaceful use of nuclear energy by Iran on the one hand, and would rule out the creation of nuclear weapons on the other," Medvedev said after the meeting.

"Russia's position is quite simple: sanctions rarely produce a positive result, but sometimes they are inevitable," he said.

"This should be resolved diplomatically and I am on record as being committed to negotiate with Iran in a serious fashion to resolve this issue," U.S. President Barack Obama said in his turn.

"We also both agree that if Iran does not respond to serious negotiations and resolve this issue in a way that assures the international community that it's meeting its commitments, and is not developing nuclear weapons, then we will have to take additional actions and that sanctions, serious additional sanctions, remain a possibility," the U.S. president added.

Iran has been under international pressure to halt uranium enrichment, used in both electricity generation and weapons production. Tehran has repeatedly rejected the demand, insisting it is pursuing a purely civilian program. Several Western powers have called for harsher sanctions against Tehran if it does not agree to halt uranium enrichment.

Iran has agreed to meet with the Iran Six, comprising Russia, the United States, China, Britain, France and Germany on October 1 to discuss its nuclear program.

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