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Russia, U.S. Split On Iran Nuclear Issue

Iran says its nuclear program is only intended for energy production 15 October 2005 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today met in Moscow and acknowledged that they disagree on Iran's rights to pursue a nuclear energy program.

After the meeting, Lavrov said all members of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) have this right. But Rice said the NPT comes not only with rights, but also with obligations.

The United States accuses Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons, but Iran says its nuclear program is only for producing power.

Lavrov said Moscow believes the Iranian nuclear issue can be resolved within the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN's nuclear watchdog. But Rice said referral of Iran's nuclear program to the UN Security Council -- which could result in economic sanctions against Iran -- remains an option.

Rice is expected to meet with President Vladimir Putin before flying to London later today for talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.


For news and analysis of Iran's nuclear program, see RFE/RL's "Iran's Nuclear Program" microsite.