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    G8 leaders criticize Iran, condemn Cheonan sinking (UPDATE 1)

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    The G8 leaders have called on Iran to respect the rule of law and freedom of speech and condemned the sinking of the South Korean Cheonan warship, for which Seoul blames North Korea, a source from one the delegations said

    The G8 leaders have called on Iran to respect the rule of law and freedom of speech and condemned the sinking of the South Korean Cheonan warship, for which Seoul blames North Korea, a source from one the delegations said.

    The source said the comments are being included in the summit's final communique.

    The source said the leaders had not included in the draft some of the harsher policies towards Tehran and Pyongyang, put forward by several G8 leaders, such as the United States.

    The draft does not contain any direct allegations against North Korea over the Cheonan affair. The South Korean warship sunk near the disputed Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea on March 26, causing the loss of 46 lives. South Korea says it has proof that North Korea fired a torpedo at the vessel from a submarine, although Pyongyang denies the attack.

    The source said the draft called on Iran to respect the rule of law and freedom of speech, as is laid out in international treaties, of which Iran is a member.

    The draft also expresses concern about the humanitarian situation on the Gaza strip and calls on the Afghan government to intensify efforts towards promoting democracy, increasing security and improving the public administration and justice systems in the war-torn country.

    The document is expected to be formally approved by the leaders later on Saturday.

    HUNTSVILLE (CANADA), June 25 (RIA Novosti)

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