The U.S. and Russia made tentative steps toward reconciling what have seemed like diametrically opposed approaches toward Iran, with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton celebrating a new era of U.S. cooperation with Russia. Clinton's diplomatic breakthrough with Russia over Iran comes amid reports the U.S. will drop its vocal criticism of Russia for human-rights violations. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said threatening sanctions against Iran is counterproductive, a stance that would appear to indicate Russia will not back U.S. measures if Iran fails to demonstrate its nuclear program is peaceful.

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