Clinton to press Russia on Iran, arms control

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton travels to Russia on Monday hoping to win Moscow’s backing for a strong stance on Iran’s nuclear program and looking for progress on a new arms control pact.

American officials say Iran will be at or near the top of Clinton’s agenda when she meets Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday. She plans to push for Russian support for new sanctions on Iran if it doesn’t comply with demands to prove its nuclear program is peaceful.

On Sunday, in London on the second leg of her current five-day overseas tour, Clinton warned Iran that the world “will not wait indefinitely” for proof it is not trying to develop atomic weapons.

She said a recent meeting in Geneva in which Iran and six world powers resumed nuclear talks was “a constructive beginning, but it must be followed by action” from the Iranians.

Iran insists it has the right to a full domestic nuclear enrichment program that it maintains is only for peaceful purposes, such as energy production.

Russia and China have long balked at imposing new sanctions on Iran if it fails to come clean about its suspect nuclear program, although Medvedev hinted the Russian position might be shifting after Tehran disclosed a previously secret uranium enrichment site near the holy city of Qom.

But U.S. officials believe it will be a hard sell to convince … >>>

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