WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama spoke Wednesday night on the telephone with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and made it clear to him that Washington will continue its push for harsh sanctions against Iran despite the deal struck between the Islamic Republic, Turkey, and Brazil.
Erdogan and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are spearheading efforts to prevent a fourth round of sanctions on Iran by promoting a diplomatic solution with Tehran. In the context of these efforts, the three countries reached an agreement according to which Iran will send its uranium to Turkey for enrichment.
Obama said Wednesday to Erdogan that Tehran's recent activities "do not build confidence," and reminded him that Iran consistently refused to meet with world powers to discuss its nuclear program.
"Iran’s persistent refusal to meet with the P5+1 on Iran’s nuclear program and recent refusal to halt enriching uranium to nearly 20%, do not build confidence," said Obama to Erdogan.
The White House reported, "The president stressed the international community’s continuing and fundamental concerns about Iran’s overall nuclear program as well as Iran’s failure to live up to its international obligations."
Obama acknowledged Turkey's and Brazil's efforts to reach an agreement with Iran, but emphasized that the US and the international community "await a formal and authoritative message from Iran to the International Atomic Energy Agency."
Obama praised the broad package of sanctions put together by the major world powers and called upon the Islamic Republic to honor its obligations to the international community and halt its enrichment of uranium.
According the draft resolution presented to the UN Security Council, the new sanctions will focus on Iranian banks and oversight of maritime vessels that could be suspected of carrying cargo related to developing nuclear capabilities.
Brazil and Turkey contacted the 15 members of the Security Council Wednesday and asked that they support the resolution.