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World Leaders Discuss Fresh Iran Sanctions

The leaders of the international delegations pose for a group photo at the Nuclear Security Summit 2010 in Washington, DC
World leaders have discussed the possibility of fresh sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

U.S. President Barack Obama said the United States is pushing for strong and timely sanctions that have consequences.

"Sanctions aren't a magic wand. What sanctions do accomplish hopefully is to change the calculus of a country like Iran so that they see that there are more costs and fewer benefits to pursuing a nuclear weapons program and in that process, what we hope is if those costs get high enough and the benefits are low enough, that in time they make the right decision, not just for the security and prosperity of the world, but also for their own people," Obama said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said potential sanctions should be aimed at nonproliferation and should not hurt ordinary people.

Indian Prime Minister Manhoman Singh said he told Obama that New Delhi opposed fresh sanctions and that such measures often only affected the poor.

Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said Beijing still favored diplomacy but his government is open to "new ideas" if they do not undermine economic ties.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the UN should impose fresh sanctions against Iran no later than May.

All were speaking at the end of the nuclear security summit in Washington.

In a related development, the new head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, says Iran appears to be deadlocked in talks with Russia, the United States, and France on a UN-backed nuclear fuel offer for a research reactor in Tehran.

The plan calls for Iran to ship most of its stock of low-enriched uranium to Russia and France for further enrichment for use at a Tehran research reactor for cancer research.

compiled from agency reports