Clinton Claims Int’l Unity on Iran Despite Chinese Skepticism

Jan 21, 2010 5:59pm

ABC News' Kirit Radia reports: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said today that the international community remains united against a nuclear Iran, despite recent setbacks in the effort to enact the “crippling” sanctions on Tehran that Clinton called for last year. “We’re unified in our resolve to work toward pressure on Iran in the face of their continuing rejection of the overtures by the international community,” Clinton told reporters at a press conference. Her remarks come just days after representatives from the so-called P5+1, the permanent five members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, which has been negotiating with Iran, met to discuss the way forward. In a telling sign China, which wields veto power in the UN Security Council, sent a lower-level representation to the meeting. On January 5, China’s UN Ambassador Zhang  Yesui ruled out further sanctions on Iran, saying the matter needs more “time and patience.” In October the P5+1 presented Iran with an offer to send its uranium stockpiles abroad for enrichment, but had yet to receive a positive response before an end of the year deadline after which the group planned to push for additional punitive measures. With China blocking actions at the United Nations Security Council, US and European countries are looking to see how they can ratchet up the pressure on Tehran on their own, according to US and foreign diplomats. France is expected to introduce a resolution on Iran in the Security Council in the coming weeks, but today Clinton refused to characterize what it may contain. When asked if the resolution would even contain the word sanctions, Clinton replied: “We want the strongest possible resolution, so I’m not going to characterize it beyond that.”

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