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Obama Hails Draft Resolution for Iran Sanctions

U.S. President Barack Obama says he is pleased the United States has reached an agreement with other world powers on a U.N. draft resolution to impose tougher sanctions on Iran.

Speaking Wednesday at a joint news conference in Washington with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Mr. Obama said the two leaders agreed on the need for Iran to uphold its international obligations or face increased U.N. sanctions.

Earlier Wednesday, Mojtaba Hashemi Samareh, a top adviser to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, rejected the draft resolution as "illegitimate" in interviews with Iranian state media.

The draft resolution being discussed by the Security Council would be the fourth round of U.N. sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program. The resolution includes an arms embargo, limits on Iranian ballistic missile activity, and more inspections of vessels suspected of containing cargo related to nuclear activities.

Iranian Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi, who heads Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, also said Wednesday the U.S. and other world powers would discredit themselves if they passed what would be a fourth round of sanctions.

The United States announced Tuesday it had won crucial support for the draft resolution from Russia and China.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said the resolution would build on existing sanctions against Iran and give them additional "teeth." She said the measure aims to increase the cost to Iran's leadership for its refusal to stop enriching uranium.

The draft resulted from weeks of talks among officials from Germany and the five permanent Security Council members - the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia. China and Russia have previously resisted imposing tough sanctions.

The resolution was introduced one day after Iran announced a plan to send much of its enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for nuclear fuel. That deal was brokered by Turkey and Brazil, two non-permanent Security Council members.

The United States and its Western allies accuse Iran of working to make a nuclear weapon. Iran says its atomic program is for peaceful purposes.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.