Obama: U.N. sanctions on Iran within weeks

(JTA) — President Obama predicted that the U.N. Security Council would pass a new round of sanctions against Iran within weeks.

Obama acknowledged, however, on Tuesday that the necessary votes are still not there.

Among the five veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council, Britain, France and the United States favor the sanctions, and Russia has indicated a willingness to consider them, but China remains opposed.

Five additional votes from among the 10 rotating members of the council are needed to adopt the sanctions. Aside from U.N. sanctions, the U.S. Congress is considering its own sanctions against Iran.

On Wednesday, Iran’s official news agency said Iran and China would hold talks on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with foreign ministers from the Group of 8 nations several hours before Obama made his remarks Tuesday. After her meeting, the ministers issued a statement expressing doubt about Iran’s claims that its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes, but the statement stopped short of endorsing sanctions.

"Ministers agreed to remain open to dialogue and also reaffirmed the need to take appropriate and strong steps to demonstrate international resolve to uphold the international nuclear nonproliferation regime," the statement said.

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