Obama Pushes for Sanctions on Iran within Weeks, Hopes China Will Agree

US President Barack Obama has said that he wants tougher UN sanctions within weeks against Iran over its nuclear programme, hoping that China will agree on possible next steps, reported Reuters.

Presenting a united front on Iran at a joint White House news conference, Obama and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy said that they felt it was time for tougher sanctions on Iran which the governments of two countries had been negotiating with China, Russia, Germany and Britain, said report.

“My hope is that we are going to get this done this spring,” Obama was quoted as saying. “I’m interested in seeing that regime in place in weeks.”

In the meanwhile, in Gatineau, G8 foreign ministers urged the world community to take ‘appropriate and strong steps’ to show its resolve over the nuclear program, leaving the door open to diplomatic dialogue, said report.

Issuing their final communique, the G8 ministers said that they wanted Iran to comply with demands from the Security Council and cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, report said.

“Ministers agreed to remain open to dialogue and also reaffirmed the need to take appropriate and strong steps to demonstrate international resolve to uphold the international nuclear nonproliferation regime,” the communique said.

While on Tuesday in Beijing, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said that his government opposed Iran acquiring nuclear weapons but stopped short of backing new sanctions.

“At present, we hope that all sides will make substantive efforts and demonstrate flexibility over the Iran nuclear issue,” he was quoted as saying.

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