Germany and Russia declared Saturday that the five world powers negotiating with Iran support a fresh set of international sanctions, and Chancellor Angela Merkel said they could pass soon.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said at a news conference with Merkel that "agreement on the sanctions exists," despite the fact that "nobody wants sanctions."
"We hope the voice of the international community will be heard by the Iranian leadership," Medvedev said through the official German translator.
Merkel said sanctions could be passed by the United Nations Security Council "in the near future."
Russia has been traditionally opposed to sanctions for Iran, a longtime trade partner, but in recent months officials have shown less patience with Iran's refusal to stop enriching uranium and heed other council demands meant to reduce suspicions over its nuclear aims .
"I am very happy, that we can stand here jointly today and say that this is a joint position not only of the European Union, the United States of America and Russia, but also of China," Merkel said. "That is an important step the international community has made here."
Moscow has recently joined the other four U.N. Security Council members — the United States, China, Britain and France — to tentatively back a draft fourth set of U.N. sanctions against Iran.
"We have always taken a two-way approach, making offers, on the one hand, but, as there are no qualitative changes, on the other hand now the time has come that such sanctions must be adopted," Merkel said.
Medvedev said it is unacceptable "that one continues to act irresponsibly. One has to move toward the partners of the international community and it is only in this way that complicated issues can be solved."
Russia's president arrived Friday for a two-day visit to Germany to discuss a range of issues with Merkel.
The West is against an expansion of nuclear nations and suspects Iran is enriching uranium to build a nuclear warhead. Tehran denies this and insists on its right to a peaceful nuclear power program, but has frustrated the West over its failure to prove it.
Associated Press Writer David Nowak contributed to this story from Moscow.
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