MOSCOW — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and US President Barack Obama on Thursday discussed Iran's suspect nuclear program and the need to look for "non-standard" approaches to resolving problems in the Middle East, the Kremlin said.
Their telephone conversation, which the Kremlin said lasted for an hour and a half, came as the United States tries to build support for new sanctions against Iran.
The Kremlin said Medvedev briefed Obama about his trip this week to Syria and Turkey, where he had made clear Moscow's willingness to play an active part in efforts to bring peace to the Middle East.
The United States opposes a joint Turkish-Brazilian effort that could help Iran avoid new United Nations sanctions. Medvedev, who met with Turkey's president on Wednesday in Ankara, plays host to Brazil's president in Moscow on Friday.
Obama and Medvedev "according to tradition exchanged opinions at great
length on the Iranian nuclear problem," the Kremlin statement said. They
agreed to intensify efforts to work out a common position within the
framework of the six key powers, the five permanent UN Security Council
members plus Germany, it said.
The two presidents, who plan to meet in the US in June, also agreed to
work together more actively on the situation in the Middle East,
"including studying non-standard approaches," the statement said.
The United States and its allies accuse Iran of seeking to develop
nuclear weapons, and the UN has demanded Teheran halt uranium
enrichment, a process that can be used to produce either nuclear fuel or
Iran says its program is peaceful and that it has a right to pursue
enrichment to power reactors to generate electricity. The UN has already
imposed three rounds of financial sanctions over its refusal.