UK hints at easing of sanctions if Iran gives ground

March 29, 2012 23:37


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LONDON - Iran should not doubt major powers' determination to stop it getting a nuclear bomb, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Thursday, but he also hinted that sanctions could be eased if Iran gave ground in a long-running nuclear dispute.

In a major foreign policy speech, Hague also warned Syrian President Bashar Assad and his allies, engaged in a bloody crackdown on a year-long revolt, that they faced more punitive sanctions, international isolation and possible prosecution unless they allowed a democratic transition to unfold.

Looking ahead to talks on Iran's nuclear program, set to resume next month after a gap of more than a year, Hague said: "We approach these talks with sincerity and a genuine desire for a breakthrough. This can only come if Iran enters the talks in a new spirit."

The Islamic Republic has said it expects to reopen talks with six major powers, including Britain, on April 13 and that Turkey has offered to host the meeting.

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