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
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
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
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.