Pressure on China from Western powers on Iran nuke issue

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New Delhi, Apr 1 (ANI): With the US and Europe joining hands on the need for fresh sanctions against Iran over nuclear issue, China is facing mounting pressure to go along with Western powers against that country.

On Tuesday, US President Barack Obama said he wants a fourth round of international sanctions against Iran to be in place within weeks.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy also echoed Obama during a news conference in the White House, saying, "The time has come to take decisions."

Foreign ministers from the Group of Eight nations also issued a communique in Gatineau, Canada, saying they had agreed to take "appropriate and strong steps" to show their resolve over Iran's clandestine nuclear program, the China Daily reports.

Russia, which had supported China's stance that sanctions against Iran should be done only as a last resort, also seems to have shifted its position.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday said in a statement to members of the League of Arab States that the possibility of using new sanctions cannot be excluded.

One day before the statement, Russia and the US, struck a landmark agreement on cutting their nuclear arsenals by a third.

"China is faced with mounting pressure from other international players now," said Zhang Xiaodong, deputy chief of the Chinese Association for Middle East Studies.

Zhang said the US-led UN Security Council would accelerate the process toward fresh sanctions as Iran has failed to provide a satisfactory solution. "China cannot single-handedly stop this from happening."

Beijing has repeatedly called for negotiations and flexibility and said sanctions cannot solve the root problem.

In the latest statement Tuesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said China would make joint efforts with other parties to eacefully resolve this issue by diplomatic means. (ANI)

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