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Russia Calls for More Diplomacy in Iran Nuclear Standoff

Russia's foreign minister says his country still opposes sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program, and he is calling for more diplomatic efforts to resolve the standoff.

Sergei Lavrov voiced his support for further talks while speaking to reporters Thursday, in Warsaw where he is meeting Polish officials.

Representatives of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council: the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany will meet in London on Friday to discuss the issue.

The United States and Britain say it is time for sanctions. On the eve of the London meeting, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said talks should continue even if sanctions are used.

Iran ignored an August 31 Security Council deadline to stop enriching uranium.

Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, expressed his hope Thursday that Europe would use nuclear talks to "rectify their behavior."

The president did not elaborate. Iran's president made his comments during a public rally that was broadcast by state media.

Enriched uranium can be used to make nuclear weapons, but Iran says it needs the fuel to produce electricity.

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