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US, Allies Discuss Iran Nuclear Stance and Consequences

A satellite image made available to AFP on 28 Sept. 2009 by Digitalglobe shows a suspected Iranian nuclear facility near the holy Shiite city of Qom

Speaking in South Korea, President Obama says a package of potential steps will be developed during the next several weeks with the aim of sending a 'clear message' to Iran

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States has begun talks with its international partners on the consequences of Iran's failure to respond to a proposed nuclear deal.

Speaking in South Korea Thursday, Mr. Obama said a package of potential steps will be developed over several weeks, with the aim of sending a clear message to Iran.

He said he continues to hold out hope that Iran will decide to accept the United Nations-brokered plan, which involves sending its uranium abroad for further enrichment.

Russia's Foreign Ministry Thursday said it is too early to discuss new sanctions, saying Iran still has not given its official answer to the proposal.

Iran's foreign minister dismissed the latest threats of consequences, saying he thinks Western nations are wise enough not to repeat what he said were "failed experiences" with sanctions in the past.

Iran's ISNA news agency quoted Manouchehr Mottaki Wednesday as saying his country does not accept the latest international proposal and will only consider a uranium-for-fuel swap inside Iran.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Mottaki's comments do not inspire confidence that Iran will accept the International Atomic Energy Agency plan.

Iran's envoy to the IAEA said the main problem Is a lack of trust between Iran and the United States. Asghar Soltanieh said Wednesday that his government wants a guarantee that it will receive fuel for its Tehran reactor.

The IAEA drafted a deal last month under which Iran would send more than 70 percent of its low-enriched uranium to Russia and France, where it would be turned into fuel for the Tehran medical research reactor.

The proposal is aimed at easing concerns about Iran's nuclear program, which Western nations say is aimed at creating weapons. Tehran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

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