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Russia Stand On Iran Sanctions Welcomed By Israel

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JERUSALEM — A senior Israeli official welcomes steps by Russia toward endorsing additional sanctions against Iran as a way of stopping its nuclear program.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev opened the door to a firm international stand against Iran.

Ayalon told The Associated Press on Thursday that Russia's new stand "may be the day that marks the beginning of the United Nations and the people gathering together to stop the Iranians."

Israel and the U.S. believe Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons. Iran denies that.

Israel considers Iran a strategic threat because of its nuclear program, long-range missile development and repeated references by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Israel's destruction.

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