Skip to main content

Medvedev: World powers in agreement on Iran sanctions

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Russian President Medvedev in Germany for visit with Merkel
  • Medvedev: Iran needs to listen to international concerns over its nuclear program
  • Russian leader stresses international consensus on Iran

(CNN) -- Calling Iran's nuclear stance "irresponsible, Russia's president said Iran's leadership needs to heed an international community now in agreement on sanctions against that country, a Russian state news agency reported.

"Nobody wants sanctions," Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told reporters on Saturday during a visit to Germany, where he met with Chancellor Angela Merkel. "But in some cases, it is necessary to agree on them."

"The situation is such that in practical terms, agreements on these sanctions exist," he said.

Medvedev, whose country in the past has balked at tough measures against Iran, said Moscow's position on the Iran nuclear issue had moved closer to that of its Western partners, Ria Novosti reported.

"I think that this is very important for the future of the international community and... for the future of our relations with European and other countries -- with the United States and China," he said.

"We hope that Iran's leadership will listen to the voice of the international community," he said. "It is necessary to talk with partners within the international community, and that is the only way to solve the most difficult issues."

The five members of the U.N. Security Council -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China -- and Germany have been mulling over a tougher set of sanctions against Iran.

These nations say Iran has been pursuing nuclear weapons development, but Iran says it is only interested in nuclear power for peaceful purposes.

"It is necessary to talk with partners within the international community, and that is the only way to solve the most difficult issues," Medvedev said, stressing that decisions like sanctions should be made through international consensus and not "personal ambitions."

In another matter, Medvedev said he hoping for a dialogue on the elimination of visas between his country and the European Union, a move that would free up travel in Europe.

Medvedev has said Russia was prepared to get rid of visa requirements for residents of EU states "tomorrow," if the EU did the same for Russians.

"If we do so, that will qualitatively change our lives, make us real, true strategic partners," he said.