Catherine Ashton

The European Union’s head of foreign policy says further pressure must be put on Iran over its nuclear program.

Ria Novosti reports that Catherine Ashton made her comments on Tuesday, following a meeting with the Azerbaijani foreign minister. She said: “We believe in trying to get the Iranians to negotiate and to respect their commitments on nuclear proliferation.”

She added: “While we wish to see Iran honour its commitments and come to negotiate, we recognize we need to keep up the pressure. We will examine what further sanctions we should take."

The EU has put off any decision on new sanctions for two weeks.

The new International Atomic Energy Agency report expresses concern over the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program. Iran insists there is no military aspect to its nuclear activities.

U.S. President Barack Obama met with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev this week to enlist Russian support for further pressure on Iran. He said they are looking at a joint response to make Iran “act on its international commitments.”

However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was quoted yesterday saying that further sanctions on Iran would not be “effective.”

Russia has said that the nuclear disputes with Iran are best addressed through diplomacy and negotiations.