Obama: U.S. and Russia Seeking 'Common Response' to Iran Nuclear Plans

The two presidents meet on sidelines of trade summit in Hawaii, discuss 'wide-ranging' topics including Syria, Afghanistan, and European missile defense.

The United States and Russia are trying to create a common response to Iran's nuclear program, U.S. President Barack Obama said after talks with Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev.

"We discussed Iran, and reaffirmed our intention to work to shape a common response so that we can move Iran to follow its international obligations when it comes to its nuclear program," Obama said. He said he held "wide-ranging" talks with Medvedev, also discussing Syria and Afghanistan.

Obama Medvedev - Reuters - November 12, 2011

"President Medvedev and I have, I think, successfully established the reset of the U.S-Russia relationship," Obama said.

"And it has borne concrete fruit in the form of the New START Treaty, the 123 Agreement, the work that we did together imposing sanctions on Iran, and most recently, the efforts that we've made on Russia's WTO accession," he said.

Medvedev confirmed that they had discussed the Middle East, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran and European missile defense.

"We agreed to continue a search for possible solutions, though we understand that our positions remain far apart," he said.

Obama and Medvedev met on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that focused on promoting free trade.

Obama said Russia's expected accession to the World Trade Organization would be "good for the United States, for the world, as well as for Russia."

Medvedev thanked Obama for his administration's "active support and engagement" of Russia's WTO accession.

Iran's envoy on Friday said the latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency had harmed the chances of improving cooperation with the agency.

The IAEA said in its report this week that Iran since 2008 had refused to answer questions about the alleged nuclear weapons studies. The report described indications from various sources that Iran had carried out such work.

Western countries are seeking to condemn Iran in a resolution when the IAEA governing board meets starting Thursday.

Russia and China shared Iran's view that the report and any punitive action had damaged the chances for dialogue with Tehran.