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US, France Express Support for New Sanctions on Iran

  • VOA News

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner say they agree on the need for new sanctions against Iran for its alleged nuclear weapons program.

Rice and Kouchner spoke at a joint news conference in Washington on Friday after holding talks.

Kouchner said two sets of United Nations Security Council sanctions on Iran have so far been ineffective in getting Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment. He said France hopes for a third round of sanctions. Highly enriched uranium can be used to build a nuclear weapon.

Also in Washington today, the United States is hosting a high-level diplomatic meeting to discuss the possibility of imposing new UN sanctions against Iran in the nuclear dispute. Diplomats from the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany are participating in the meeting.

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, says Washington expects the issue to move to the Security Council for final approval within the next several weeks.

The United States and its allies say Iran's nuclear enrichment program is aimed at building nuclear weapons. Tehran says it is for civilian purposes only.

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