Merkel, Brown back new sanctions against Iran
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Last Updated: Thursday, April 01, 2010, 23:31
London: The leaders of Britain and Germany on Thursday backed plans to push for tighter sanctions against Iran, which the United States hopes can be agreed by the end of the month.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met today at Chequers, the prime minister's country residence northwest of London, for talks on Iran's disputed nuclear programme, global economic crisis and climate change.

Their discussions followed talks earlier this week between President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in which they pledged tougher action against Tehran over its refusal to halt its uranium enrichment programme.

The US and allies accused Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, while Tehran insists it is engaged in the legitimate development of civilian nuclear power.

Senior diplomats from Britain, the US, France, Germany, Russia and China, the six-country group that negotiates over the nuclear programme agreed in a conference call Wednesday to press for a new round of sanctions.

The US hopes a new UN resolution on Iran could be passed by the end of April though much will depend on whether China agrees to tougher action.

Brown's office said in talks with Merkel "there was strong support from both leaders for sanctions and agreement on the continued need to engage with international partners on the issue."

Merkel's office said she also had an "extensive and friendly" telephone conversation with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in which the two discussed many of the same issues, but it did not elaborate.


First Published: Thursday, April 01, 2010, 23:31

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