By Daniel Dombey in Washington
November 17 2009

Barack Obama, the US president, on Tuesday sought to convince China to increase pressure on Iran’s nuclear programme – but received no public commitment that Beijing would support sanctions.

After meeting Hu Jintao, China’s president, Mr Obama said both had agreed Iran “must provide assurances to the international community that its nuclear programme is peaceful and transparent”. He added that if Tehran “fails to take this opportunity, there will be consequences”.

But Mr Hu merely said: “To appropriately resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiations is very important to stability in the Middle East.”

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