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Report: US asked Russia to deliver ultimatum to Iran

A leading Russian newspaper reported today that US Secretary of State Clinton requested that Russia tell Iran upcoming talks are the 'last chance' before it pursues a military option.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks at the State Duma, the lower parliament chamber, in Moscow, Wednesday.

Misha Japaridze/AP

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Editor's note: This story was updated at 3:30 p.m. EST.

The US has asked Russia to carry an ultimatum to the leaders of Iran, warning that upcoming six-nation talks on the Iranian nuclear program will be the "last chance" for progress before it pursues a military option, the leading Moscow daily Kommersant reported today (in Russian).

According to an anonymous high Russian diplomatic source quoted by the newspaper, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a UN Security Council session on March 12 to deliver that tough missive to Tehran ahead of talks scheduled to take place in Turkey by April. Kommersant is a pro-business, liberal newspaper that is generally considered reliable when it cites official sources, although today's story does not provide any direct quotes from the unnamed diplomat. 

US State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner declined to comment on the Kommersant story but said in an e-mail, "We still believe there's time for a diplomatic solution so long as Iran is serious about addressing [the] international community's concerns."


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