Officials: Nations resolve to pressure Iran

AP News
Posted: Dec 20, 2011 1:54 PM
Officials: Nations resolve to pressure Iran

The U.S. and other nations meeting Tuesday in Rome to discuss sanctions against Iran for its alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons have resolved to boost pressure on Tehran to restart negotiations, Italian foreign ministry officials said.

The closed-door meeting brought together officials of what the ministry described as "like-minded countries." The group included the United States and EU nations, Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea and possibly a Gulf country, diplomats said. Exact participants were not identified.

The Wall Street Journal, citing unidentified U.S., European and Arab diplomats, reported that Iran's oil exports and global energy prices were key issues on the table.

Foreign ministry officials, speaking on traditional ground rules of anonymity, said participants stressed the urgent need for Iran to satisfy world concerns about its nuclear program.

The participants also expressed determination for a broad partnership to strengthen pressure on Tehran with the aim of restarting a serious negotiation process, the ministry officials said.

Iran denies that it is pursuing nuclear weapons, saying its nuclear program is entirely peaceful.