Reuters: The Group of Eight nations backs a U.S. policy of giving Iran a chance to negotiate over its nuclear program, but believes time is running out before new sanctions should be considered, Italy's foreign minister said on Thursday. UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The Group of Eight nations backs a U.S. policy of giving Iran a chance to negotiate over its nuclear program, but believes time is running out before new sanctions should be considered, Italy's foreign minister said on Thursday.
Reporting on a dinner of G8 foreign ministers on Wednesday evening, Franco Frattini said: "What has emerged … is that G8 partners believe that we are to support the policy of United States President Obama to give Iran a chance … (but) on the substance, we want to reaffirm that time is running out.
"Now (it) is premature to … talk about sanctions, but we have to make it absolutely clear that our window of opportunity will not remain open indefinitely," Frattini told reporters on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly gathering.
Italy currently holds the presidency of the G8, which groups the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan and Russia.
In defiance of Security Council resolutions, Iran refuses to stop enriching uranium, which the West says indicates Tehran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says it merely wants to generate nuclear power for civil purposes.
The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China — and Germany are due to hold talks with Iran in Geneva on October 1. China has been the most reluctant to impose sanctions.
Frattini suggested there could be further rounds of talks.
Frattini said he proposed that Gulf Arab states and Asian countries such as India and South Korea should also be involved in discussions on Iran, although he did not elaborate. He said India was Iran's principal supplier of refined oil products — which some have suggested should be subject to sanctions.
(Reporting by Patrick Worsnip, editing by Todd Eastham)