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Medvedev: Iran Sanctions Cannot Be 'Excluded'

President Dmitry Medvedev spoke to members of the Arab League on March 26.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says he supports diplomacy to resolve the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, but sanctions cannot be excluded from the international community's strategy for dealing with the crisis.

Speaking today in Moscow to members of the League of Arab States, he said, "we are convinced that the sanctions path is not optimal [but] at the same time, developments along this scenario can't be excluded."

Russia is a key player in mediations on Iran's nuclear program, which Western nations believe is geared toward producing atomic weapons. Russia and China have been reluctant to endorse broader sanctions against Iran, but Moscow has softened its stance on possible punitive measures in recent months.

Medvedev said any sanctions that should be "well-calculated and not targeted at the civilian population of Iran."

Iran insists its nuclear technology is for peaceful purposes.

compiled from agency reports