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Russia, US close ranks on Iran's nuclear plan -

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Russia, US close ranks on Iran's nuclear plans

Kim Landers reported this story on Thursday, September 24, 2009 12:14:00

ASHLEY HALL: Russia has moved closer than ever to the United States' position that Iran should face
harsh sanctions unless it makes concessions about its nuclear program.

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev has indicated he might be ready to take a tougher stance on Iran
after a meeting with the US President Barack Obama.

The increased pressure on Iran comes a week before international talks in Geneva about the Islamic
nation's nuclear ambitions.

North America correspondent Kim Landers reports.

KIM LANDERS: There are increasingly urgent efforts by the United States and other major powers to
prod Iran into fully disclosing its nuclear program so all eyes were on Iran's President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad as he addressed the United Nations General Assembly.

MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD (translated): I thank almighty God for granting me once again the opportunity
to address this important international forum.

KIM LANDERS: The Iranian leader says his country is ready to shake all hands that quote "are
honestly extended to us" and he says Iran is committed to building durable peace and security
worldwide.

MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD (translated): Eradication of arms race and elimination of all nuclear, chemical
and biological weapons.

KIM LANDERS: Momentum seems to be growing towards imposing new sanctions on Iran.

Iran dominated talks today between Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev and US President Barack
Obama.

BARACK OBAMA: If Iran does not respond to serious negotiations and resolve this issue in a way that
assures the international community that it is 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.

KIM LANDERS: The White House says there's quote "no daylight" between Russia and the US when it
comes to their objectives regarding Iran's disputed nuclear program.

And Russia's President appeared to make a major policy shift by leaving the door open to tough new
sanctions against Iran.

DMITRY MEDVEDEV (translated): Sanctions rarely lead to productive results but in some cases
sanctions are inevitable.

KIM LANDERS: Talks are scheduled for next week in Geneva between a group of nations and Iran.

In preparation for that, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today met with her counterparts from
Britain, Russia, China, France and Germany.

HILLARY CLINTON: Iran should come to the talks on October 1st ready to engage in serious and
substantive discussions with a sense of urgency and a review of the practical steps that need to be
taken on the nuclear issue.

KIM LANDERS: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has already hinted what he's going to be asking for at those
talks.

In an interview with The Washington Post and Newsweek he says Iran will seek to buy enriched
uranium from the United States for medical purposes. He says it will test whether the Obama
administration is serious about engagement.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has a message from Iran's leaders.

NICOLAS SARKOZY (translated): That if they rely on a passive response from the international
community in order to pursue their military nuclear program, they will be making a tragic mistake.

KIM LANDERS: The French President has suggested that a December deadline be set for Iran to show
progress in talks with world powers.

Meanwhile Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown has made it clear time is running out.

GORDON BROWN: Let there be no ambiguity. Iran and North Korea must now know that the world will be
even tougher on proliferation. We are ready to consider further sanctions.

Britain will insist in future that the onus on non-nuclear states is that in the years ahead it is
for them to prove that they are not developing nuclear weapons.

KIM LANDERS: This is Kim Landers in Washington for The World Today.