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US answer to Iran nuclear swap: Overnight deal on sanctions

A day after Turkey and Brazil announced an Iran nuclear fuel swap, the US says it has secured the support of all five permanent UN Security Council members – including Russia and China – for Iran sanctions.

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center, his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, left, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, talk in Tehran, Iran, Monday before signing an agreement to ship most of Iran's enriched uranium to Turkey in a nuclear fuel swap deal.

Vahid Salemi/AP

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In a swift answer to the Iran nuclear fuel deal secured Monday by Turkey and Brazil, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced today that world powers had finalized a package of "strong" new sanctions against Iran.

After months of diplomatic efforts, the US secured support overnight from Russia and China, removing the possibility that the move would be vetoed by the United Nations Security Council. The draft would be circulated later Tuesday to the full Council, she said.

“This announcement is as convincing an answer to the efforts undertaken by Tehran over the last few days as any we could provide,” Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “There are a number of unanswered questions regarding the announcement coming from Tehran.”

While Clinton said the US acknowledged the “sincere efforts of both Turkey and Brazil to find a solution," she made clear that the US considered Iran to be still in breach of five Security Council resolutions against it.

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