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. Gates prefers sanctions to diplomacy for Iran
WASHINGTON, March 29 (AFP) Mar 29, 2009
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday that Iran was more likely to heed sanctions than diplomacy in US efforts to dismantle its nuclear drive.

Apparently contradicting President Barack Obama's diplomatic overtures to Iran, Gates said on "Fox News Sunday": "I think frankly from my perspective the opportunity for success is probably more in economic sanctions in both places (Iran and North Korea) than it is in diplomacy."

"Diplomacy perhaps if there is enough economic pressure placed on Iran, diplomacy can provide them an open door through which they can walk if they choose to change their policies," the Pentagon chief said.

"And so I think the two go hand in hand, but I think what gets them to the table is economic sanctions."

Last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton vowed the United States would continue to reach out to Iran despite its cool response to Obama's overtures.

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