G-8 Will Not Call for New Sanctions Against Iran

By Caitlin Taylor

Jul 8, 2009 2:33pm

L'AQUILA, ITALY — The G-8 leaders will issue a joint statement this evening expressing serious concerns about the post-election violence in Iran, as well as its continued pursuit of nuclear weapons, but will not push for new economic sanctions or tougher enforcement of those that exist, an Obama administration source told ABC News this afternoon.

The statement will "reflect growing impatience" among world leaders, the source said, but it will not call for direct ramifications or contest the election results.

The source asked for anonymity since the G-8 world leaders had not yet officially signed off on the final document.

On Tuesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadeinjad claims his re-election "was the most clean and free election in the world…This election has doubled the dignity of the Iranian nation." The Iranian president assailed the West's "childish acts of interference in Iran's internal affairs" and said the result would be "the Iranian nation and government will enter the global stage several times more powerful."

Other statements from the "Group of Eight" powers — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States — expected this evening following the working dinner will condemn the nuclear weapons program pursued by North Korea, and pledge for more cooperation to provide basic services such as health and water in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and address the humanitarian crisis in Burma.

This afternoon in Italy G-8 leaders issued statements addressing economic growth, climate change, and pushing countries that previously pledged aid to developing nations but have yet to deliver by publicizing those commitments.

The climate change provision sets a non-binding global goal for a 50% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050, using 1990 levels or later years as a base, with a goal for developed countries of 80%. The document pledges cooperation to limit the rise in global temperatures to no more than 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

But achieving this is far more difficult than writing it on a piece of paper as a pledge, particularly with developing nations balking at the goal and complaining that the industrialized world hasn't followed through with aid and technology to help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Tomorrow President Obama will chair the 17-member Major Economies Forum meeting, which will include major polluters China and India, as well as Australia, Brazil, the European Union, Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa, where debates are expected to be more contentious.

In December, the United Nations will hold a summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the hopes of achieving a global climate pact.

In other developments here, the G-8 nations also pledged today to take steps to encourage economic growth and financial stability while eschewing protectionist measures, including aid to developing countries.

Some of that pledged aid has been called into question by the fact that according to Official Development Assistance (ODA) figures for 2008, G8 nations have only delivered one third of the $21.5 billion in assistance they promised to Africa by 2010, with the humanitarian group saying Italy has given only 3 percent of the $3.5 billion it pledged in 2005 and France has given only 7 percent of its pledged $5.2 billion.

In an apparent effort to shame countries not following through on their previous pledges, the G-8 for the first time will publish the data of money pledged and money delivered to enhance accountability.

- jpt

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