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US, RUSSIA SAY SANCTION A POSSIBILITY FOR IRAN


SINGAPORE – President Barack Obama said Sunday that "time is running out" for Iran to sign on to a deal to ship its enriched uranium out of the country for further processing, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he still hopes to persuade Iran to send its enriched uranium to his country.
  • If that plan fails, however, Medvedev said other options remain on the table. While he did not cite those options, the Russian leader has said further sanctions against Iran were possible if it did not open its nuclear program to inspections to prove it was not trying to build a bomb.
  • Obama and Medvedev, meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Cooperation Council, said Iran was one of the topics they discussed.
  • Russia and the U.S. are among six nations leading an effort to ensure Iran does not use what it maintains is a civilian nuclear program to develop an atomic bomb. But Moscow also has close ties with Iran and is helping build its first nuclear power plant, forcing Russia into a delicate balancing act.
  • Fears about the nature of Iran's nuclear program were heightened in September with the disclosure of a uranium enrichment facility near the holy city of Qom. U.N. inspectors visited the site last month, as the United States continued quiet preparations for the possibility of stiffening U.N. sanctions or those the United States has applied on its own.
  • Iran agreed to the inspections during a landmark meeting with the U.S. and other world powers at the beginning of October in Geneva, where the idea of Tehran shipping uranium to Russia for further enrichment was first raised.
Source: AP
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