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Russia's Medvedev Won't Rule Out Iran Sanctions

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev
MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said he did not rule out fresh sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

The Kremlin chief noted that it was not only the West that was concerned about Iran, but he said the international community needed to tread carefully when discussing any possible sanctions against the Islamic republic.

"Sanctions are not very effective on the whole, but sometimes you have to embark on sanctions," Medvedev told the Valdai discussion group of Russia experts in Moscow.

U.S. President Barack Obama, who came into office pledging a policy of engagement toward Iran, has suggested Tehran may face harsher international sanctions if it does not accept good-faith talks by the end of September.

Iran last week turned over a package of proposals to world powers in which it said it was willing to address global nuclear disarmament and other international issues.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on September 10 said the proposals could be a basis for negotiations.

But Lavrov said the United Nations Security Council would not support oil sanctions against Iran, the world's fifth-largest crude exporter and a major importer of gasoline.

Russia has a permanent seat on the council and the power of veto.