Leaders of the G-8 group of major industrial nations “insisted” that Iran suspend its enrichment of uranium. The statement released Friday at the end of the G-8 summit in Germany is significant because it includes Russia, which has resisted intensifying sanctions against Iran. It expresses “profound concerns over Iran’s failure address international concerns over its nuclear activities” and “insists that Iran comply with its international obligations.” It does not recommend further action, but the countries did agree “to take steps to ensure the international financial system is not used to finance proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” suggesting a tightening of the noose on Iran’s central banking system. G-8 leaders also backed proposals for providing nations with nuclear material as a means of maintaining “the moratorium on the transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technology.” Iran has sought nuclear know-how from Russia. The U.N. Security Council has twice since December increased sanctions on Iran, and the United States is urging a third set. Russia, along with China, has resisted such intensification of sanctions, but Russian leaders have reportedly expressed concern in recent weeks at Iran’s refusal to cooperate. Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful. Israel believes it might be ready to field a weapon by 2009.
G-8 insists Iran back down