US negotiating with allies on Iran sanctions path

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Washington, Feb.20 (ANI): The United States is negotiating with Russia, Great Britain, France and Germany on a package of sanctions that it plans to impose on Iran for its nuclear activity.

According to Fox News, Washington will later present this package to China said to be the least enthusiastic member of the Security Council where Iran sanctions are concerned.

The White House has begun circulating sanctions against Iran as part of its pursuit of United Nations-backed punishment for Iran's secretive pursuit of nuclear weapons, Fox News has learned.

Washington is not pushing for a formal take-it-or-leave-it list of sanctions, but choosing a consensus approach where Iran sanctions are concerned.

"We are internally and with partners beginning the process of thinking through what are the appropriate elements of pressure," US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said.

"And that will be a process that will continue over a period of time and I think we should be realistic about the pace," she added.

The U.S. is pushing economic sanctions targeting the Revolutionary Guard Corps, increasingly the dominant military and economic force within the Iranian government.

China is not a part of the sanctions talks now because the administration wants to unify the other nations ahead of what promises to be what one official called a "long hard slog."

The strategy is to persuade China to abstain before the Security Council, a move that would allow sanction to proceed without a formal Chinese endorsement.

Movement toward sanctions has intensified recently and is likely to pick up speed following the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency's report that criticized Iran for hiding details about its nuclear program and warned it may be working on a nuclear warhead and missile capability.

Experts say the U.S. must move swiftly to hit Iran.

"Iran has started to enrich its uranium to higher levels," said Sharon Squassoni, director of the proliferation prevention program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"So Iran continues to move ahead and we need to move quickly," she added. (ANI)

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