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Updated: April 27, 2010 08:35 IST

US seeks sanctions against Iran

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waits for the start of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Tallinn, Estonia. File photo: AP.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waits for the start of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Tallinn, Estonia. File photo: AP.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made calls to a number of world leaders over the weekend as the Obama Administration intensified its effort to get the UN Security Council slap fresh sanctions against Iran as soon as possible.

“The (US) President wants this done as rapidly as possible. We all do,” the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, P J Crowley, told reporters.

At present, the US is leading negotiations with the members of the Security Council on this issue in New York.

“There are meetings still going on in New York, and we want to see this wrapped up quickly. (There has) been a great deal of global engagement. The Secretary (of State) had a number of calls over the weekend to world leaders,”Mr. Crowley said.

“So we are actively engaged with a wide range of countries to seek a strong sanctions resolution as quickly as we can get it done,” he said in response to a question.

“We are actively engaged in New York in a variety of different groupings to reach a conclusion on the particulars of a resolution, and we want to get this done as soon as possible,” he added.

Responding to a question, Mr. Crowley said Iran needs to come forward and answer the questions the international community has about its nuclear programme.

“We envisioned the Tehran research reactor proposal as a useful step to build some confidence to show that Iran was willing to engage seriously. They have not,” he said.

“They have not formally come back to the IAEA with any kind of response on the proposal,” he said when asked about the meeting between the Iranian Foreign Minister and the IAEA.

“The proposal that was made last fall would need to be updated in light of the fact that Iran has been processing additional fuel since September.

But if they wish to engage seriously on this arrangement, which we think is in Iran’s interest and potentially can be an important step, we’re all ears,” Mr. Crowley said.

“But Iran has had many months to come forward and has failed to seriously address the issue that was put on the table last fall,” he said.

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