UK minister: proposed UN sanctions against Iran 'pretty weak'

Political directors from the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany will hold talks on Iran in Paris on Saturday, a British minister said Wednesday. Foreign Office minister Kim Howells said a meeting would take place in France, with Britain and the United States pushing for a hardening of sanctions against Teheran over its disputed nuclear program. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has urged tighter UN sanctions, proposing a specific targeting of Iran's oil and gas industry. But US officials have complained that Russia and China remain skeptical about the need for a third round of sanctions. Current UN measures are "pretty weak in reality; I don't think the UN is going out of its way to cripple Iran in any way," Howells told the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee.