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QUESTION: Regarding Iran, Russia has agreed in principle to imposing political and economic sanctions if Iran fails to fulfill the resolution. . . .
VLADIMIR PUTIN: First of all, it is too early to speak of sanctions with regard to Iran. I don't know, perhaps [Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov said something about sanctions. We have not reached that point yet. What we would like is for the Iranian leadership to react as soon as possible to the proposal made by the six countries and for negotiations on the basis of this proposal to begin. I remember well my meeting with President of Iran Ahmadinejad, and he said to me that they would make their response within a month. A month has already gone by but the negotiations have still not begun. Now we hear that the deadline is for August. Our position is based on the hope that negotiations will begin. As for sanctions, I would not even raise the issue right now because even just raising the issue could create unfavourable conditions for beginning the negotiating process.
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