U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Photo by AP
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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday that Iran still refuses to discuss its nuclear program with the international community and is unlikely to do so until the United Nations imposes new sanctions on the Islamic republic.

"I have told my counterparts in many capitals around the world that I believe that we will not get any serious response out of the Iranians until after the Security Council acts," Clinton told reporters after a meeting with new British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Clinton also said that Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva faces an uphill climb in trying to persuade Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions.

Lula plans to press Iran's leaders to revive a stalled proposal under which Iran would send low-enriched uranium abroad and receive a higher grade uranium in return - a plan that has gone nowhere since it was floated in October.

The United States and some of its allies accuse Iran of seeking to use its civilian nuclear program as a cover for pursuing nuclear weapons. Iran denies this, saying its program is solely to generate electricity.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told Lula in Moscow that he had a 30 percent chance at best. Lula, in contrast, put his own odds of success at 9.9 on a scale of one to 10.

"The interchange between President Lula and President Medvedev in Moscow today illustrated the hill that the Brazilians are attempting to climb," Clinton told reporters.