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Foreign ministers from major powers will not meet as planned this week in New York to discuss new sanctions against Iran due to Moscow's opposition, said U.S. and Russian officials on Tuesday. "There is not going to be a ... meeting," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack. In Moscow, Russia's foreign ministry, angered by U.S. calls for it to be penalized over its war with Georgia, said it saw no need for major powers to meet on Iran's nuclear program on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
Russian resistance follows a speech by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last week in which she said the world must stand up to intensified Russian aggression. Rice is set to meet Lavrov in New York on Wednesday. Russia has been angered by Washington's rhetoric since the brief Georgian war last month. "We would really want Washington to finally make up its mind on relations with Moscow," Nesterenko said. "If they want to punish Russia, that is one thing. If they agree that we have common interests which need to be jointly promoted, then it's a different story. One can, say paraphrasing Condoleezza Rice's words, 'You can't have both.'"