US and France to work together for new Iran sanctions

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The United States and France have announced their intention to work together in an effort to implement additional United Nations sanctions on Iran.

The announcement came after a meeting between US President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. According to Obama, the two nations planned on having the new sanctions implemented "within weeks." Sarkozy pledged that the whole of Europe would be part of the plan, saying that he would make "all necessary efforts to make sure Europe as a whole engaged in the sanctions regime." He said that he planned to specifically work with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in his efforts. Merkel has previously said that if the UN will not agree to implement sanctions, Germany, in concert with other nations, may introduce sanctions of their own.

Obama said that the US would not wait for an extended period of to implement new sanctions, saying that he was "interested in seeing that regime in place within weeks." Despite his commitment to the new sanctions, Obama also acknowledged the divisiveness that they provoked in other countries, saying that it was "something that we have to work on." Most notable among the opposition is China, which says that sanctions could "complicate the situation."

There have already been three rounds of sanction enacted, which have banned trade of nuclear material, frozen financial assets of individuals and corporations engaged in nuclear activities, blocked all arms exports from Iran, and advocated for examination of Iranian banks. The proposed fourth round would target the oil trade in Iran.