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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Clinton, Lavrov: No Iran Sanctions Yet

By VOA News
13 October 2009

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says it is not yet time for additional sanctions against Iran, and she praised Russia for its cooperation on the issue.

Clinton spoke to reporters in Moscow Tuesday after meeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Lavrov agreed with Clinton, saying imposing sanctions against Tehran for its controversial nuclear program at this stage would be "counterproductive."

Iranian diplomats have agreed to meet with officials from the U.S., France, Russia and the United Nations to work out a plan for enriching uranium abroad. Those talks are set for October 19 in Vienna.

The uranium would be enriched to a low level needed for energy and research purposes, which Iran says are its only nuclear aims. A much higher level of enrichment is needed to create nuclear weapons.

Clinton emphasized Tuesday that both Washington and Moscow agree that Iran is entitled to a peaceful nuclear energy program, but it is not entitled to nuclear weapons.

An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hassan Qashqavi, Monday dismissed Western pressure on Tehran about its nuclear ambitions. He told reporters that "threats, deadlines and timetables will have no impact on the Islamic Republic in any way." He said, to this point, Iran has not yielded to sanctions or threats.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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