LINDA WERTHEIMER, host:
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
STEVE INSKEEP, host:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
A meeting on the world economy may be overshadowed today by talk of a nuclear program. Leaders of world economic powers are meeting today in Pittsburgh. Three of those leaders are expected to make an announcement, which involves Iran. And their announcement suggests a growing consensus resolved to stopping that country.
NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley is in Pittsburgh covering the meeting of the G-20 industrialized and developing nations. Scott, Good morning.
SCOTT HORSLEY: Good to be with you, Steve.
INSKEEP: What's being revealed today?
HORSLEY: Well, Iran has revealed in a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency the existence of a second uranium enrichment facility. This is a facility that had not previously been publicly disclosed. However, the New York Times reports that U.S. intelligence had actually been aware that this facility was under development for years. President Obama was reportedly briefed on this even before taking office. And according to the Times it was the news that Western intelligence was prepared to go public with this that forced Iran to reveal the existence of this so-called pilot project in a letter to the IAEA.
INSKEEP: So this is the thing that that three world leaders including President Obama are going to be discussing today. They are going to say something of what they know about Iran enriching uranium at a second site, a site that was not previously known.
HORSLEY: Now, of course Iran has insisted that its uranium enrichment is for peaceful power purposes, but there is suspicion that these plants could be used to develop weapons grade material. And so presumably the Western powers will use this secret to put greater pressure on Iran to allow international inspectors in.
INSKEEP: And all of this is leading up to talks, we should mention, which come in October involving Iran, the United States and a number of other nations about Iran's nuclear program. We're talking with NPR's Scott Horsley. He's covering the meeting in Pittsburgh known as the G-20 meeting today. And of course the intended agenda here had to do with the economy. This is an economic gathering and these G-20 nations are talking a little bit more about how to plan for the future.
HORSLEY: That's right. The crisis mentality that sort of permeated the last two G-20 meetings has eased somewhat. But now they are talking about how to try to put the economy on a sustainable growth path for the future, and there's a more prominent role for the G-20 now. They are going to announce that this group -this larger group - will now be the central council for economic cooperation. For years, you know, there was the G-7, largely European, plus the U.S. Then came the G-8 with the addition of Russia, but that left out some of the fast growing economies like China, India and Brazil, which are part of the G-20. So the G-20 will now be the go-to body for economic cooperation and a senior administration official say this is a way of pulling that cooperation into the 21st century.
INSKEEP: A bigger group than it was and part of the reason I imagine is that they have got a bigger job on their hands.
HORSLEY: They do. Part of their job this week is to come up with some stricter regulation for the financial sector. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says he expects world leaders will reach agreement at this session. Not only on how to patch financial regulations but how quickly to do so.
Secretary TIMOTHY GEITHNER (Department of Treasury): We are not going to walk away from the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression and leave unchanged and leave in place the tragic vulnerabilities that caused this crisis. I think we all recognize that we need to act before the memory of the crisis fades and before the impetus for reform recedes and we're trying to bring greater urgency and commitment to the need to act together.
HORSLEY: And the second big push is to have a more balanced growth path that's not so reliant on free spending U.S. consumers.
INSKEEP: Scott, good to talk with you this morning.
HORSLEY: Good to be with you, Steve.
INSKEEP: That's NPR's Scott Horsley. He's covering the meeting of the G-20 nations in Pittsburgh.
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