Sarkozy says France, Russia moved closer on Iran in his talks with Putin

;NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia (AP) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy said after talks Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin that the two countries had bridged some of their differences on the Iran nuclear standoff.

Sarkozy has taken a firm line on Iran in recent months, shifting closer to the United States in his insistence on tough U.N. Security Council sanctions and even his mention of the possibility of war. While the United States and European nations are pressing for greater sanctions, Russia and China have resisted.

“Our positions moved much closer together” on Iran and other sensitive subjects, Sarkozy told reporters during his first presidential visit to Russia. He mentioned “many convergences” on Iran but would not elaborate.

Putin heads to Iran early next week amid heightened international tensions over Tehran’s refusal to suspend uranium enrichment – activity the United States claims is aimed at building weapons but Iran insists is for peaceful purposes.

Asked whether Putin could present a new proposal to the Iranians to defuse the standoff, Sarkozy responded only that Putin’s trip would be “very useful.”