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Bush, Putin Agree to 'Move Forward' on Iran Nuclear Issue


U.S. President George Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed on the need to "move forward" on a United Nations Security Council resolution against Iran for its nuclear program.

The White House says the two leaders spoke by telephone earlier Saturday, and that they stressed the importance of a "unified position" on Iran's nuclear program.

The Security Council is meeting Saturday to vote on a resolution that would impose sanctions on Iran.

U.N. diplomats say the 15-member Council will vote on an amended version of a resolution drafted by Britain, France and Germany. The resolution demands that Tehran end all uranium enrichment work and halt research and development that can make or deliver atomic weapons.

It is not clear if there is unanimous support in the Security Council for the resolution.

Russia has objected to parts of the draft resolution, including a mandatory travel ban on people involved in Iran's nuclear and missile programs. The resolution's travel ban has since been eased. Russia is a veto-wielding member of the Security Council.

Iranian lawmakers warned Saturday that Tehran could reduce cooperation with the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency if the Security Council passes a resolution imposing sanctions.

The United States has been pushing for a strong sanctions resolution because of Iran's refusal to suspend uranium enrichment by an August 31 U.N. deadline.

The U.S. and its Western allies believe Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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