Rice to attend meeting on possible sanctions against Iran

By Xinhua

Washington : U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit Germany and Switzerland on Jan. 22-23 for talks on possible new sanctions against Iran, the State Department said Wednesday.

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In Germany, Rice is to attend a meeting of the five countries holding permanent U.N. Security Council seats, plus Germany, on Iran, said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.

“The whole strategy here is to use various kinds of diplomatic pressure, at a gradually increasing rate, to try to get a different set of decisions out of the Iranian leadership,” he said.

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council are Britain, France, China and Russia in addition to the United States.

In Davos, Rice is due to address the annual World Economic Forum, meet with senior Swiss officials, the spokesman said.

Rice and other U.S. officials have been trying to push the U.N. Security Council to impose the third sanctions against Iran as Tehran ignores U.N. Security Council’s resolutions and continues nuclear activities.

Washington accuses Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program. Iran, which always denies U.S. charges, insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.