US President Barack Obama used an unprecedented summit on nuclear terrorism to press global leaders to support further isolating Iran for its nuclear activities, and the White House said that China’s leader had agreed to cooperate with tightening UN sanctions on Iran.
In bilateral meetings leading up to the Nuclear Security Summit, Obama sought to send a message to Iran — which denies it is developing a nuclear weapon — that it must heed international efforts to restrain its nuclear program.
White House officials said Obama told Chinese President Hu Jintao in a 90-minute meeting on Monday that passing new UN sanctions against Iran is urgent.
“The two presidents agreed that the two delegations should work on a sanctions resolution in New York, and that’s what we’re doing,” said Jeffrey A. Bader, the National Security Council's senior director for Asian affairs.
China has backed three previous sanctions resolutions on Iran, and its support is crucial because it is one of five veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council.
Ma Zhaoxu, a spokesman for the Chinese delegation, was more cautious about Monday’s meeting, indicating that the two sides still differ on the elements of a sanctions resolution.
Ma repeated the standard Chinese diplomatic formulation, saying that Hu told Obama he hoped that countries would “actively seek effective ways to resolve the issue through dialogue and negotiations.”
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