- Weekly report on Human Right Violation in Iran
- Vahid Asghari refused to appear in the court
- Akbar Amini the political activist arrested
- Behnam Ibrahimzadeh summoned to return prison
- Arash Sadeghi’s hunger strike continues
- Two Kurds die of self-immolation
- Israel won't accept less than total halt of Iran's nuclear enrichment
- Rowhani vows 'moderation,' but won't halt nuclear program
- Israel will do everything to prevent another Holocaust
- Iran takes key step in nuclear reactor construction
- Iran Candidate Attacks Jalili’s ‘Stubborn’ Nuclear Diplomacy
- UN nuclear chief blasts Iran for leading IAEA 'in circles'
- Iran’s women discriminated against by law
- Women, Law and Sexuality in Iran
- Iranian women are second-class citizens
- Women skirt Iranian music ban with fancy dress
- Religious leaders ban 30 women from running for Iran's presidency
- Iranian cleric: Women can't be president in Iran
- Report: Iran sending 4,000 troops to aid Assad
- Syria: North Korean military 'advising Assad regime'
- Iran cuts Hamas’ funding for backing Syrian opposition
- Neighbors in Lebanese city fight Syrian proxy war
- Hezbollah takes Syria risk at Iran's behest: experts
- Iranian troops are fighting in Syria, says US
Saturday 19 May 2012
THE WASHINGTON POST -- President Obama on Saturday declared Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions a "grave concern" for world leaders, but said that the United States and its allies are hopeful ahead of negotiations next week.
Opening the second day of meetings at the Group of Eight summit at Camp David, Obama reaffirmed that the leaders of eight of the world's richest economies are committed to maintaining tough economic sanctions on Iran until it relinquishes its nuclear weapons program.
Also Saturday, The Group of Eight, which also includes Japan, Canada, Italy, Germany and Russia, issued a joint statement on the European financial crisis, calling on Greece to remain in the euro currency zone ahead of that country's election next month.
"We agree on the importance of a strong and cohesive Eurozone for global stability and recovery," the leaders said in the statement.
Hollande, who took power last week, has promoted stimulus measures to help Europe generate growth, in contrast to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's push for stricter austerity measures.
The joint statement declared support for a mix of both, promoting investments in education and infrastructure, along with "sound and sustainable fiscal consolidation policies that take into account countries" evolving economic conditions and underpin confidence and economic recovery."Â
The United States, along with Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, are to meet with Iranian leaders in Baghdad on Wednesday for the latest round of negotiations in an attempt to find a resolution. Those meetings come after U.S. negotiators proclaimed an initial set of talks in Istanbul in April "constructive and useful," even though no specific agreement was reached.
Obama said that the G-8 leaders, who met for a working dinner at Camp David on Friday night, also remained united in their concern over the violence in Syria, where government forces have engaged in a 15-month-long crackdown on a popular uprising.
The United States and its allies remain formally committed to a U.N. peace plan being spearheaded by former secretary general Kofi Annan. Nearly two-thirds of an authorized 300 unarmed U.N. military monitors have arrived in Syria, with the rest due by the end of this month.
But even Annan has acknowledged that the initiative has failed to significantly quell the violence or make progress toward a political transition. U.S. officials have said they feel constrained from declaring the mission a failure, at least until the full complement of monitors arrives. Annan himself has expressed pessimism about the prospects for success.
"We're supportive of the Annan plan and agree that the Annan plan should be fully implemented and a political process has to move forward in a more timely fashion to resolve that issue," Obama said.
On a brighter note, Obama said the G-8 was encouraged by signs of a more open political transformation in Burma, where the United States has eased trade restrictions and last week named Derek Mitchell as its first ambassador to the country since the 1990s.
The leaders also discussed how to empower women around the world in the political process, a conversation Obama said was "extremely fruitful" and one he will also pursue at the broader Group of 20 summit in Mexico next month.