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Iran Nuclear Stance Tops G-8 Summit

Tuesday, 30 Mar 2010 09:46 AM


GATINEAU, Canada — Iran's nuclear ambitions took center stage Tuesday at a Group of Eight foreign ministers summit on global security and terrorism, overshadowed by the deadly Russian subway blasts.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton affirmed late Monday the participation in Iranian sanctions talks of China, seen as the most hesitant member of the so-called "P5-plus-1" -- the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany that are negotiating with Tehran.

Beijing, she said in an interview with Canadian television, will play a role in efforts to forge sanctions at the United Nations against the clerical regime.

"I think as the weeks go forward and we begin the hard work of trying to come up with a Security Council resolution, China will be involved," Clinton told Canadian broadcaster CTV, adding that Beijing recognized the threat of Iran's nuclear program.

"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," she said.

G8 ministers at the global security talks were to discuss an upcoming review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) at a New York conference in May and a nuclear security summit in Washington next month.

The meeting in Gatineau, Quebec, near the capital Ottawa, sets the stage for G8 and G20 leaders' summits in Muskoka, Ontario and Toronto in June.

"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 late 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."

Cannon previously warned that more UN sanctions against Iran appeared inevitable, and said he would ask delegates to consider "additional pressure on Iran to persuade it to stop its nuclear enrichment activities and convince the Iranian authorities to come back to the table."

He was echoed by Japan's Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, whose spokesman said the world must consider a "stronger response" to Iran's defiance, "including a possibility of adopting a new UN Security Council resolutions."

"We hope China, together with Russia (and others) will get onboard to make any decision effective," he added.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved


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2010-46-30
Tuesday, 30 Mar 2010 09:46 AM
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