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Clinton Calls New Iran Fuel Plan A 'Ploy' To Avoid Sanctions

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has called a Turkey- and Brazil-brokered fuel-exchange plan for Iran a "transparent ploy" by Tehran to avoid new UN Security Council sanctions over its disputed nuclear program.

Clinton said the fuel deal sumbitted to the UN's nuclear watchdog -- which proposes moving some of Iran's uranium to Turkey to ease Western concerns that the country is pursuing nuclear weapons -- does "not answer the concerns of the international community."

A day after the fuel exchange agreement was announced last week, the U.S. released a draft resolution for a fourth round of UN sanctions on Iran.

Western countries fear Iran is secretly making an atomic bomb. Iran insists its nuclear program is only for civilian purposes.

Also today, Russian news agency Interfax reported that Iran's ambassador to Russia, Seyed Mahmoud-Reza Sajjadi, said that Iran is hoping Russia will "persuade" the members of the UN Security Council to "refrain from sanctions."

compiled from agency reports