Iran has unveiled a new centrifuge, which it says can enrich uranium six times faster than its previous models. Tehran's defiant announcement comes as Western powers are lobbying for a fresh round of UN sanctions against Iran.
Six major powers held a meeting in New York to discuss a US draft resolution that would slap sanctions on Iran's Revolutionary Guards believed to be involved in nuclear proliferation. US and Russian representatives called the meeting promising.
Iran has announced it will host an international conference on nuclear disarmament, titled "Nuclear Energy For All, Nuclear Weapons For No-one", to be attended by China, which has been resisting calls for sanctions against Tehran.
In a phone conversation on Thursday, US President Barack Obama called on Chinese President Hu Jintao to work with him on addressing Iran's nuclear ambitions. The two leaders also discussed the importance of maintaining "positive" bilateral relations.
Beijing has called for a negotiated solution to the Iran nuclear issue, after the US said China was ready for talks with the six big powers to coordinate a sanctions-based response. Iran sent a special envoy to Beijing (pictured).
The US has heralded a breakthrough in support for UN sanctions against Iran, saying China was ready for talks with the six big powers coordinating a response. China has veto power on UN Security Council resolutions and has opposed punishing Iran.
An Iranian nuclear scientist has defected to the USA and is now working with the CIA, ABC News reported Tuesday. The leading nuclear physicist disappeared in June 2009 after arriving in Saudi Arabia on a pilgrimage.
At a joint press conference in Washington, D.C., US President Barack Obama and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy presented a united front against Tehran's nuclear activities as Obama said he hoped for new UN sanctions in a matter of weeks.
Foreign ministers from the Group of Eight countries meeting in Canada have agreed that Iran should be sanctioned if does not halt its nuclear enrichment activities, but remain divided on the penalties to be imposed.