Following a meeting with US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov waved off US efforts to brandish new sanctions if Iran doesn’t prove its nuclear programme is peaceful. This a real setback for Obama’s desire for a united stance with Russia. At a joint news conference with Clinton, Lavrov said threats would not persuade Iran to follow. Instead, negotiations should continue. He said, “At the current stage, all forces should be thrown into supporting the negotiating process.” Russia and China have traditionally rejected sanctions although, after the disclosure of the secret nuclear facility near Qom, there were indications Russian opposition had softened.
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