Russia still hopes for a diplomatic solution to the standoff over Iran's nuclear programme, a deputy foreign minister said Monday, as the West steps up pressure for new sanctions against Tehran.

Iran finds itself with few friends and, provided that its nuclear intentions are indeed peaceful, it needs a new public-relations effort. It’s not an impossible task, but it requires restraining President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his diatribes, and seeing Tehran get serious about proving its peaceful intentions.

China believes that diplomacy and peaceful talks are the best and most effective way to solve the Iran nuclear issue, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Thursday.

European Union foreign ministers have urged Iran to stop jamming satellite signals that have affected transmissions by several Western broadcasters, including Deutsche Welle and the BBC.

European Union nations are calling for Iran to stop jamming international satellite broadcasts and censoring the Internet. A preliminary version of a statement that will go before EU foreign ministers next week demands that Iran cease its electronic interference immediately.

Iranian parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said the "carrot and stick" strategy used against Iran by the "great powers" won't halt its nuclear development.

Months of popular unrest have exposed the fissures in Iranian society and politics, so sanctions must achieve contradictory goals: cutting off the regime's access to sensitive technology while cajoling it to negotiate in good faith; undermining hardliners while empowering moderates.

APDS Blogger: Melanie Ciolek

Since the violent aftermath of Iran’s presidential elections, American policymakers have struggled with how best to approach the opposition Green Movement without jeopardizing U.S. efforts to limit Iran’s nuclear ambitions. There are signs that an increasingly popular approach might not be more sanctions – but fewer, at least when it comes to Internet technologies.