Washington, Apr.14 (ANI): US President Barack Obama said Tuesday that while there is solid UN support for imposing tougher sanctions on Iran, veto-wielding China is not fully onboard for a fresh crackdown on Tehran's suspected nuclear weapons program.
"With respect to sanctions, I think that we have a strong number of countries on the Security Council who believe this is the right thing to do. But I think these negotiations can be difficult," Obama said at the close of the two-day Nuclear Security Summit.
A day after the White House had announced that Chinese President Hu Jintao had agreed to cooperate with the drafting of sanctions against Iran, China has not made a total commitment to squeezing Tehran.
According to the New York Daily News, Hu has agreed only to send negotiators to New York for talks aimed at crafting economic sanctions, but he remains concerned about keeping the oil China buys from Iran flowing.
The U.S. reportedly is trying to broker a deal with other oil states to offset any Iranian oil lost to China.
"I am going to push as hard as I can to make sure that we get strong sanctions that have consequences for Iran as it's making calculations about its nuclear program, and that those are done on a timely basis," Obama told reporters.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu suggested China still holds out hope an agreement between Western powers and Iran can be reached without sanctions.
If talks don't work out, China can veto the sanctions at the UN. (ANI)