Russian President Dmitry Medvedev held out the prospect of support for Iran sanctions in talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who agreed with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Oct. 13 that the focus for now should be on diplomacy aimed at ensuring that Iran makes its nuclear program more transparent. Medvedev's subsequent private comments, while welcomed by US officials as a sign of accord with Russia, fell short of a clear, public endorsement of future sanctions. US officials say they want to hold out the threat of sanctions to coax Iran into fulfilling its international obligations, while Russian officials such as Lavrov say such a threat would undermine Iranian cooperation. (Bloomberg)

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