By Julian Pecquet - 06/18/12 11:00 AM EDT
Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress is running out of patience. Forty-four senators, led by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), wrote to President Obama on Friday urging him to cease meetings with Iran if they don't produce anything while allowing them to stall for time.
“Amongst the absolute minimum steps [Iran] must take immediately are shutting down of the Fordow facility, freezing enrichment above 5 percent, and shipping all uranium enriched above 5 percent out of the country,” they wrote. “Were Iran to agree to and verifiably implement these steps, this would demonstrate a level of commitment by Iran to the process and could justify continued discussions beyond the meeting in Moscow.
“However, we still must address the totality of Iran’s problematic nuclear activities. Barring full, verifiable Iranian compliance with all Security Council resolutions and full cooperation with the IAEA, including a new, far more intrusive inspections regime under the Additional Protocol, we see no circumstances under which Iran should be relieved from the current sanctions or those scheduled to come into effect at the end of this month.”
Meeting of the minds: World leaders begin two days of meetings today as part of the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. The U.S. and other powers are expected to press Europe on its plans to save the Euro and kickstart growth in the anemic Euro-zone economy, which is dragging down the rest of the world.
On the margins of the summit, President Obama will meet one-on-one with Mexico's Felipe Calderon, Russia's Vladimir Putin and China's Ju Hintao. The meeting with Putin – the first since he took back the Russian presidency in March – in particular will be closely watched for any signs that Obama is calling Russia to task for its continued support for Syria's Bashar Assad.
The meeting comes as the United Nations on Saturday suspended its monitoring mission to Syria because of the escalating violence. [The Washington Post]
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