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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that for the moment it would be wrong to talk about a fourth round of UN Security Council sanctions on Iran.
"Threats of new sanctions and pressure against Iran under current circumstances are counterproductive," Lavrov said.
Clinton said world powers were "actively pursuing the engagement track" with Iran but that in "in the absence of significant progress... we will be seeking to rally inernational opinion behind additional sanctions."
The top US diplomat denied she had come to Russia to ask Russia for favours: "We reviewed the situation and where it stood," she said.
Russia has the most robust relations with Iran of any major world power, has supplied Tehran with military hardware and is building the country's first nuclear power plant in the southern city of Bushehr.
This is the way it always goes with the "international community". Talk, talk, talk leads only to more talk, talk, talk and nothing is ever decided. The "process" becomes not just the means to an end but the end itself. Unless, of course, some "cowboy" decides that the time has come for unilateral action.
This is the fatal flaw of the liberal transnationalist approach to world affairs. Nations have interests and goals that are, in the end, mutually exclusive and all the talk, talk, talk, until the end of time will not change that. What is worse, expanding the number of participants in the dialogue simply makes agreement even more remote.