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Obama wants new sanctions on Iran within weeks

world Updated: Mar 31, 2010 07:44 IST

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US President Barack Obama has said he wants that the new set of sanctions against Iran to be in placed in weeks and not in months.

"My hope is that we are going to get this (sanctions against Iran) done this spring. So I am not interested in waiting months for a sanctions regime to be in place. I'm interested in seeing that regime in place in weeks," Obama said in response to a question at a joint White House press conference with visiting French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

"We think that we can get sanctions within weeks," Obama said, adding his administration is working to emphasise its international partners that this is not simply an issue of trying to isolate Iran.

The issue has enormous implications for the safety and the security of the entire region, according to him.

"We don't want to see a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. A conflict in the Middle East as a consequence of Iran's actions could have a huge destabilising effect in terms of the world economy at a time when it's just coming out of a very deep recession," the US President said.

Referring to the initial policies of his administration, Obama said the approach to Tehran was to engage it and provide the opportunity to take the right path to prosperity.

The alternative path was further isolation and further consequences, he added.

"We mobilised the international community around this approach, including partners like Russia that in the past might have been more hesitant to take a firmer stance on Iran's nuclear program. What we said, though, was that there was going to be a time limit to it and that if we had not seen progress by the end of the year, it was time for us to move forward on that sanctions track," he noted.

The US President said the long-term consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran were unacceptable.