U.S., Russia agree Iran may face new sanctions - Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama said he and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed on Wednesday that further U.N. sanctions will be considered if Iran does not respond to proposals to end a nuclear standoff, Reuters reported.
Foreign ministers from the five permanent U.N. Security Council members -- the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China -- and a German official met at the United Nations to continue discussions about Iran's nuclear program, which the West suspects is aimed at developing atomic weapons.
Tehran insists its nuclear ambitions are limited to the peaceful generation of electricity and has rejected Security Council demands that it suspend all sensitive nuclear activities, including its uranium enrichment program.
"Iran has been violating too many of its international commitments," Obama said after meeting Medvedev.
Medvedev made clear that Moscow was ready to back further sanctions against the Islamic Republic unless it changes course on its nuclear program, despite Russia's general reluctance to support such punitive measures.
"Russia's position is simple," he said. "Sanctions are seldom productive but they are sometimes inevitable."
Earlier, French President Nicolas Sarkozy told the U.N. General Assembly that Iran would be making a "tragic mistake" if it thought the world would not respond to its nuclear program.
The six powers that met at the United Nations have offered Iran economic and political incentives if it stops enriching uranium, but Tehran has yet to officially reply. In a television interview, Sarkozy said Iran has until December to respond.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose disputed re-election in June has sparked widespread protests in Iran, addressed the assembly, too, but made no direct reference to Iran's nuclear program.
Hundreds of Iranians picketed Iran's U.N. mission in New York, vowing not to accept Ahmadinejad as their leader.