G8 leaders: Growing momentum for Iran nuclear sanctions
At a G8 meeting in Canada, officials said they felt growing momentum for action against Tehran. In addition to Iran nuclear sanctions, they are considering a UN Security Council resolution.
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“China is part of the consultative group that has been unified all along the way, which has made it very clear that a nuclear-armed Iran is not acceptable to the international community,” Mrs. Clinton said in an interview with Canadian TV.Skip to next paragraph
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More summits on global security coming soon
This G8 meeting is first in a series of high-level global talks this spring meant to address international security and economic issues. Next month, President Barack Obama hosts a security summit, and in June, heads-of-state summits of the G8 and G20 are planned in Canada.
The increase in pressure on Iran also coincides with preparations for a review of the NPT, slated for May in New York.
“The NPT bargain is now under pressure from the perception that the nuclear weapons states have not disarmed, from the actions of countries like Iran and North Korea and from the perceived lack of support for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy,” Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said on Monday.
“For the sake of future generations, we need to work to renew and expand the global consensus around the treaty and its goal of a world without nuclear weapons,” Mr. Cannon said.
US sanction push gets mixed results
An increasingly common thread in such meetings has been the perennial push by Washington to sanction Iran for what it deems to be defiant behavior. Russia – which is building Iran’s first nuclear power plant at Bushehr, in a $1 billion deal due for start-up this summer, has signaled that it could support more sanctions.
Yet China on Tuesday, at least publicly, said it preferred a negotiated solution. “We hope relevant parties could fully show their flexibility and make further efforts toward a proper resolution of this issue through diplomatic means,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang.
In Canada, the spokesman for Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said there had to be a “stronger response” to Iran’s continued enrichment, which could include more sanctions. “We hope China, together with Russia will get on board to make any decision effective,” the spokesman said.
A senior US official told reporters traveling with Clinton that the “Chinese have said now that they will engage on the elements of a sanctions resolution,” according to news agencies.
Iran has said it will not suspend its nuclear energy program, and that religious faith prevents it from pursuing a weapon. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last week said any new sanctions would have no effect on the Islamic Republic.
“Let me tell you, the era when they could hurt the Iranian nation is over,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said. “The Iranian nation is at such a height that their evil hands can’t touch it.”