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. Lavrov warns Rice against 'unilateral' Iran strategy
MOSCOW, Oct 12 (AFP) Oct 13, 2007
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attacked Friday what he called the United States' "unilateral" approach to the Iranian nuclear crisis, during talks here with US counterpart Condoleezza Rice.

"We believe this work can be much more effective if there are no parallel steps in terms of sanctions against Iran, leaving alone periodic calls to use military force against Iran," Lavrov said during joint talks also with US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates and Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

"These unilateral steps stick out from the agreed agenda, they undermine and they impede our collective effort," Lavrov added. "It is extremely important that Iran realises the international community is unified."

Russia, a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, has been reluctant to back US-led calls for tougher sanctions aimed at forcing Iran to halt nuclear activities that Washington and EU capitals say are designed to build an atomic arsenal.

Iran says its nuclear programme is aimed at providing electricity.

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