'China on board for new sanctions'

Unnamed official: Diplomats from UK, China, France, Germany, Russia, US discuss threat.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
March 31, 2010 22:49
1 minute read.
Ahmadinjead inspects an Iranian nuclear power plant

Nuclear Power plant 311 AP. (photo credit: Associated Press)

 
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Six major global powers negotiating with Iran on its nuclear program held fresh talks Wednesday after US President Barack Obama said he wanted to implement a new set of sanctions within weeks, AFP quoted an unnamed US official said.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said senior diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States were speaking by conference call for "consultations on next steps" on pressuring Iran to stop its nuclear program.

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"We're in a period of intense diplomatic engagement on this issue and this call was within that context," AFP quoted Toner as saying.

Earlier Wednesday, during a press conference alongside French President Nicholas Sarkozy, Obama said he wanted tough new sanctions imposed on Iran "within weeks."

Iran is already under three rounds of sanctions over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, which the West and Israel view as intended to build nuclear weapons.
Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful.

China is reportedly also on board for a fourth round of sanctions. One of Iran’s major oil clients, the Chinese empire, having one of the world’s fastest growing economies, has been until now against imposing more sanctions on Iran.

Also on Wednesday, a CIA report claimed that Iran "continues to develop a range of capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons," and despite their program having technical issues, they are "keeping the door open to the possibility of building a nuclear weapon," according to a Washington Post report.

The report continues that although there seem to be strong incentives for Iran to shut down the program, both in regards to international pressure and internal malfunctioning of the centrifuges, Iran is not planning on terminating its nuclear program.

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