TEHRAN (Reuters/AFP) - International pressure for new sanctions against Iran grew on Monday after Tehran announced more moves to expand nuclear fuel production and enrichment plants, heightening Western fears it wants to make atom bombs. The United States and France led calls for what would be a fourth set of sanctions against Iran, while a senior lawmaker in Russia, which in the past has urged talks rather than punishment, said economic sanctions should be considered. Among the big powers only China, which can block any U.N. sanctions with its veto on the Security Council, has so far remained opposed to punishing the major oil exporter. The calls for sanctions came after Iran, which says its nuclear programme is to make electricity rather than bombs, said it would start making higher-grade reactor fuel on Tuesday and add 10 uranium enrichment plants over the next year. Possible sanctions targets include Irans central bank, the Revolutionary Guards who Western powers say are key to Irans nuclear programme, shipping firms and its energy sector, Western diplomats say. Conditions set by Iran regarding a big powers plan for it to swap low-enriched uranium for nuclear fuel for a medical reactor, together with its latest defiant moves, appear to have hardened Western attitudes. The five veto-wielding U.N. Security Council members United States, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany proposed the fuel swap plan. US Defence Secretary Robert Gates, who called on Sunday for targeted measures aimed at the government of Iran rather than its people, appealed again for sanctions on Monday. We must still try and find a peaceful way to resolve this issue. The only path that is left to us at this point, it seems to me, is that pressure track but it will require all of the international community to work together, Gates said in Paris. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner agreed. The only thing that we can do, alas, is apply sanctions given that negotiations are not possible, he said. After talks with US Defence Secretary Robert Gates, French Defence Minister Herve Morin said world powers had to move toward sanctions to punish Tehran for refusing to halt nuclear enrichment. It will unfortunately be necessary to launch a dialogue with the international community that will lead to new sanctions if Iran does not stop its programmes, said Morin. Gates, whose aides had earlier said the United States would ask France to submit a sanctions motion at the UN Security Council, said: We are very much agreed that action by the international community is the next step. We havent yet convinced the Chinese, French Foreign Minister Kouchner told reporters separately. Will our Chinese friends put up a major obstacle? Im afraid that there will be a long discussion and that we will not necessarily have the opportunity to put a resolution to a vote during the French presidency of the UN Security Council, he said. Kouchner said he doubted that support for a new Iran sanctions resolution would garner the nine votes needed in the 15-member Council to be approved. Work on a draft resolution has begun at UN headquarters in New York, with the Americans and Europeans presenting a list of sanctions that could even target energy products, said Kouchner. Irans announcement that it plans to enrich uranium to 20 percent is really blackmail. One could call it diplomacy, but if that is what is then it is truly negative, said Kouchner. For his part, Gates argued that sanctions on Iran would apply pressure on the leadership to address international demands that it comes clean on its nuclear programme. The point of the pressure is to bring the Iranians back to the negotiating table and to resolve the issue in a way that prevents Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, he said. The US defence secretary said a nuclear-armed Iran posed a huge danger to the region. We have to face the reality that if Iran continues and develops nuclear weapons, it almost certainly will provoke nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. This is a huge danger, he said. In Russia, a member of Prime Minister Vladimir Putins ruling United Russia party whose statements generally reflect Kremlin policy, also spoke of sanctions. The international community should swiftly react ... in order to send Tehran a new signal of its intent to react with serious measures, right up to a strengthening of economic sanctions, said a spokeswoman for Konstantin Kosachyov, head of the foreign affairs committee in Russias lower house. The Iranian nation will show on (February 11) how it will punch the faces of all the worlds arrogants America, Britain and Zionists with its unity, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday, state television reported. The United States and the European Union expressed concern about the potential for a renewed government crackdown. The large-scale detentions and mass trials, the threatened execution of protesters, the intimidation of family members of those detained and the continuing denial to its citizens of the right to peaceful expression are contrary to human rights norms, they said in a statement on Monday. Meanwhile, a diplomat close to the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Monday Iran had yet to formally inform the UN nuclear watchdog of its plans to enrich uranium to a higher level. As of Monday, the IAEA has not yet been informed of any such plans, a diplomat told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. Irans powerful supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday that the 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution would be a punch to the worlds arrogant powers that would stun them.