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Medvedev: Global Consensus on Iran Energy Sanctions Unlikely

Russian President Dimitri Medvedev says proposals by U.S. lawmakers to impose sanctions on Iran's energy sector are unlikely to gain broad international support.

In an interview with U.S. television network ABC broadcast on Monday, Mr. Medvedev said he does not believe there will be an international consensus in favor of energy sanctions against Iran. The interview was recorded last Friday.

Russia has significant investments in Iran's energy sector. But, Mr. Medvedev has joined an effort led by Washington to pursue tougher Iran sanctions in response to Tehran's rejection of international demands to suspend its sensitive nuclear work.

Washington and its allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies. Mr. Medvedev said he does not know if Tehran is pursuing a nuclear weapon, but said he believes the Iranian nuclear program is "not transparent" and should be "closely monitored."

Mr. Medvedev also criticized Iran's refusal to accept a U.N.-backed deal to ship its low-enriched uranium to Russia, France and Turkey for further processing.

He said Iran's insistence on enriching uranium to a higher grade by itself shows that it has a "desire to enter into conflict" with the international community.

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