MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia on Friday cautioned world powers against rushing towards sanctions to punish Iran for spurning a UN-brokered proposal to send its uranium abroad for processing. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on Tehran to work constructively to allay Western fears over its nuclear programme but said world powers should take a sober approach and beware of pushing Iran into a corner. If our logic is to punish Iran, or if we take up the posture of the offended... this will not be a sober approach, Lavrov told reporters at a news briefing. It is not a simple situation and it is not made any easier by the domestic political situation in Iran, said Lavrov, who added that world powers should not risk undermining the work of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency. We must not take any steps that could open up risks to the work of the agency in this country, he said. Lavrov said Moscow wanted to see constructive actions from Iran and made clear Russia was unhappy with Tehrans dismissal of the UN-brokered proposal to send uranium to France and Russia for enrichment. We regret that Iran, by all appearances, does not consider it possible to agree to the formula it was offered as regards the production of fuel for the Tehran research reactor, Lavrov told reporters at a briefing in Moscow. Of course, the Security Council can consider additional measures, Lavrov said. Meanwhile, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the UN should adopt strong measures against Iran to persuade Iranian leaders to engage in meaningful discussion about their nuclear programme. Addressing diplomats based in France on Friday, Sarkozy said the EU should also assume its responsibilities in putting pressure on Tehran to enter into negotiations. To hesitate or to prevaricate in the face of such an issue would carry with it a great weight of responsibility, Sarkozy said. The only aim of sanctions is to lead Iran to the negotiating table, he added. He said the time had come for the international community to draw the consequences of Irans refusal to talk. Despite all our efforts, and a new engagement by the US, and despite our ambitious proposals for cooperation, the Iranian authorities are blocked in a one-way street of proliferation and radicalism, Sarkozy said. Today, they have added to that the brutal repression of their own people, he added. France wants the (UN Security) Council to adopt strong measures and for the European Union as well to assume its responsibilities, he said. He added that North Korea should be treated in similar fashion to force it to meet its international obligations.