Medvedev hopes 'irresponsible' Iran listening
Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev said Saturday he hoped an "irresponsible" Iran would heed the world community after the UN Security Council permanent members agreed a draft sanctions resolution.
"The situation is this: an agreement on sanctions exists," the president said in Germany after talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel. "We hope that the voice of the international community is heard by Iranian leadership.
"Such expressions of irresponsible behaviour cannot be continued. What is said internationally needs to be listened to. Only this way can the most complex tasks be solved," he said.
The comments came after the five permanent Security Council members -- the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France -- agreed on a new draft resolution that includes fresh sanctions against Iran over the Islamic republic's sensitive nuclear work.
The White House said Thursday it was confident the council would back toughened sanctions on Iran in the next week.
Both Russia and China have been more reticent than the others on sanctions, but Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that "paralysing sanctions" had been purged from a new draft resolution to take into account "the economic interests" of Moscow and Beijing.
Merkel, whose country is part of a six-nation group negotiating with Iran and who has been strident in her calls for more sanctions, said the draft resolution represented "great progress on the diplomatic front."
"Two years ago this was not the case," Merkel said after the two-day talks with the Russian leader outside Berlin.
"This is of course down to the fact that concern about Iran's nuclear programme is growing."
Russia, which like Germany has close commercial ties with Iran, has also become frustrated by Iran's behaviour in recent months.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last month launched a stinging attack on Moscow accusing it of "siding with those who have been our enemy for 30 years."
"If I were in the Russian president's shoes I would be more cautious in commenting and decision making about issues pertaining to the great and strong nation of Iran."
Senior US officials have said they are forging ahead with a resolution without Brazil and Turkey, two non-permanent Security Council members that brokered a nuclear fuel swap deal with Iran aimed at forestalling sanctions.
Under the deal reached last month Iran committed to deposit 1,200 kilogrammes (2,640 pounds) of low-enriched uranium in Turkey in return for reactor fuel.
But the accord drew a cool reaction from world powers led by the United States.
© 2010 AFP