US sees diplomatic solution on Iran

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WASHINGTON, Sep 18 (Reuters) The United States today said it was pursuing diplomatic measures in the standoff with Iran over its nuclear program, after a French official alarmed allies by suggesting the prospect of war.

''We believe that there is a diplomatic solution,'' White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.

''We are working with the French and the rest of the EU (European Union) community in order to pressure Iran to comply with their obligations under the UN Security Council regulations,'' she said.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner created a stir over the weekend when he said ''We must prepare for the worst.'' He followed that by saying ''The worst, sir, is war.'' But he tried to play down those comments later.

Asked if US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Kouchner might discuss the possibility of joint military action against Iran when they meet in Washington on Friday, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said: ''I would expect the discussion to be solely on diplomatic activities.'' REUTERS SR ND2032

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