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    Russia still hopes for diplomatic solution to Iran issue - Lavrov

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    Moscow still hopes that the Iran nuclear problem will be resolved through political and diplomatic means, the Russian foreign minister said after a meeting between the Russian and U.S. presidents on Sunday.

    SINGAPORE, November 15 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow still hopes that the Iran nuclear problem will be resolved through political and diplomatic means, the Russian foreign minister said after a meeting between the Russian and U.S. presidents on Sunday.

    "Our position remains unchanged: we believe there still is time and want to resolve the problem by political and diplomatic means, without employing levers the [UN] Security Council has, at least at the early stage," Sergei Lavrov told journalists.

    Medvedev said Sunday that Russia and the United States could use 'other means' if the talks on Iran's controversial nuclear program yielded no results.

    "The aim of the negotiation process with Iran is to secure clear-cut guarantees from Tehran on the transparency of its nuclear program that does not cause concern of the international community," Medvedev said after talks with Obama on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Singapore.

    Medvedev said that if that plan failed, "other options remain on the table, in order to move the process in a different direction." He did not specify, however, what these options might be.

    October talks in Vienna between Iran, the UN, the U.S., Russia and France on the Islamic republic's nuclear program ended with a deal involving Iran shipping out its low-enriched uranium to Russia and France.

    Under the deal, the uranium would be enriched in Russia and then sent to France to prepare it for use in an Iranian reactor. Iran subsequently said it wanted more talks on the deal, including fuel delivery guarantees, and also stated it would like to buy directly enriched material.

    The Islamic Republic has consistently denied it is seeking to make nuclear weapons and has insisted on its right to a peaceful program aimed at generating electricity.

    Russia has consistently supported Iran's right to civilian nuclear power, and has almost completed the country's first nuclear power plant in Bushehr.

     

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