Livni: World Must Isolate Iran, Impose Political Sanctions

World powers hold a conference call to discuss a U.S.-drafted proposal for a new round of Iran sanctions.

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni on Wednesday urged the international community to isolate Iran and impose political sanctions, in addition to economic ones, over its nuclear program.

"The decisive day in the struggle against Iran is not the day of the bomb but the present, when the world's insistence on stopping an extreme regime from attaining nuclear weapons," said Livni in a meeting with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in Berlin.

The Kadmia chair continued by saying that impressions count in the Middle East and that the delay in imposing sanctions is interpreted in Iran as weakness.

"The international community is at a critical juncture - and extremists in the region, with Iran at the top of that list, are trying to see if they will be able to continue their dangerous activities unhindered. Condemnations are not enough," said Livni, adding that global powers must take new steps to ensure Iran understands there is a price to be paid for its actions and deeds.

Livni urged the international community to isolate Tehran and to consider political sanctions in addition to economic ones.

Livni and Westerwelle also discussed developments ion the region and in Middle East peace talks.

Six world powers held a conference call on Wednesday to discuss a U.S.-drafted proposal for a new round of UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, a Western diplomat said.

China, which had declined for weeks to participate in discussions on a fourth round of UN sanctions against Tehran, took part in the call among senior foreign ministry officials from the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany, the diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

As expected, they did not agree on a draft sanctions resolution, though the Chinese said they were willing to participate in a further conference call to discuss "more detailed elements" of possible punitive steps, the envoy said.

Russia and China, however, have quietly made clear to the Iranian government they want Tehran to change its approach to the nuclear issue and accept a UN atomic fuel offer, Western diplomats said on Tuesday.

Russia's and China's coordinated diplomatic approaches took place in Tehran around the beginning of March, according to several Western UN Security Council diplomats.

They said it was significant that two powers seen as blocking Western efforts to get tough on Tehran appeared to be using their influence behind the scenes to ratchet up the pressure on the Islamic Republic.

Iran rejects Western allegations that its nuclear program is a quest to develop atomic weapons and has ignored five UN resolutions ordering it to halt its enrichment program.