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Key UN Powers Unveil Iran Sanctions Draft

File photo of an Iranian missile launch
by Staff Writers
United Nations (AFP) Oct 25, 2006
Key Western UN powers have unveiled proposed sanctions that would target Iran's nuclear and missile programs over its failure to halt sensitive nuclear fuel work, diplomats said Wednesday. A Security Council resolution drafted by envoys of Britain, France and Germany in consultations with the United States, was presented to the Russian and Chinese ambassadors late Tuesday, they added.

According to the draft, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, the Security Council would invoke Article 41 of Chapter Seven of the UN Charter which calls for sanctions not involving the use of force.

The text proposes that UN member states "take necessary measures to prevent the supply, sale or transfer directly or indirectly from their territories or by their nationals ... of all items, materials, equipment, goods and technology which could contribute to Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs."

The states are also urged "to take the necessary measures to prevent the provision to Iran of technical assistance or training, financial assistance, investment brokering or other services and the transfer of financial resources or services related to Iran's nuclear or ballistic missile programs."

The draft warns that the council would "consider further measures" if Iran still refuses to comply with a demand that it freeze uranium enrichment, a process used to produce fuel for nuclear reactors but which, if extended, can also provide the raw material for bombs.

China's UN delegate Li Junhua told reporters that the French, British and German envoys "would like to have an initial consultation tomorrow (Thursday) among the council's five veto-wielding members (P5) -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany.

"It's premature to say that the council is in a position to impose sanctions," he added.

But in Washington, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged the 15-member council to immediately slap sanctions on Iran or face losing its credibility.

"For the international community to be credible, it must pass a resolution now that holds Iran accountable for its defiance," she said.

Iran's Islamic regime should pay close attention to the wide-ranging sanctions being imposed on North Korea since it carried out its first test of a nuclear bomb on October 9," Rice told the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank.

"Iran can now see that the path North Korea is choosing is not leading to more prestige or more prosperity or more security; it's leading to just the opposite," she added.

But diplomats here cited disagreements between Washington and its European allies during consultations over whether the draft should call for a suspension of Russian assistance to Iran's Bushehr nuclear power station.

The sanctions proposed by the Europeans Wednesday exempt the Bushehr project, diplomats said.

China and Russia, which have significant economic interests in Iran, are reluctant to slap tough measures on Tehran, and a Western diplomat made it clear that Moscow was certain to oppose any call to suspend aid to Bushehr.

Monday, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Security Council deliberations on the sanctions against Iran were likely to last for several weeks.

Russia has also indicated that agreement on an acceptable text was likely to take some time.

Western powers fear Iran's uranium enrichment could be diverted to make nuclear weapons, but the Islamic republic insists its nuclear program is solely aimed at generating electricity.

Last June the P5 and Germany drew up a list of 15 possible punitive measures against Iran as part of a "carrots and sticks" package that also included economic and security incentives if Tehran agreed to suspend uranium enrichment.

The six powers have been considering gradual but reversible sanctions, firstly targetting Iran's military programs and later, if these fail, moving to broader political and economic sanctions.

Meanwhile an official from the Russian company heading the Bushehr project said Wednesday that the project had been delayed for technical reasons.

Last month, Russia and Iran officially agreed on a 12-month deadline for completing the controversial project, despite earlier pressure from Tehran that the station be completed in half that time.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has meanwhile repeatedly stated that Iran has no plan to halt its uranium enrichment and has noted that the Islamic republic is not far from doing so on a larger scale.

And Iran on Wednesday confirmed it has installed new equipment to step up uranium enrichment work despite the threat of UN sanctions.

earlier related report
Rice calls on UN to adopt Iran sanctions resolution now
Washington (AFP) Oct 25 - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called for the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution "now", imposing sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, or face losing its credibility. "For the international community to be credible, it must pass a resolution now that holds Iran accountable for its defiance," she said.

Addressing the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, Rice said Iran's regime should pay close attention to the wide-ranging sanctions being imposed on North Korea since it carried out its first test of a nuclear bomb on October 9.

The sanctions were enacted unanimously by the UN Security Council, which is now debating a milder sanctions resolution against Tehran for its refusal to comply with an earlier UN order to halt enrichment of uranium.

"The Iranian regime is watching how the world responds to North Korea's behavior and it can now see that the international community will confront this behavior," Rice said.

"Iran can now see that the path North Korea is choosing is not leading to more prestige or more prosperity or more security; it's leading to just the opposite," she said.

Key Western UN powers this week presented China and Russia with a draft resolution mandating Security Council sanctions against Iran.

The text, crafted by envoys of Britain, France and Germany in consultations with the United States, was presented to the Russian and Chinese ambassadors late Tuesday.

Diplomats said the council's five veto-wielding members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany could meet Thursday to review the draft.

Western powers fear Iran's uranium enrichment could be diverted to make nuclear weapons, but the Islamic republic insists its nuclear program is solely aimed at generating electricity.

Diplomats cited differences of opinion between Washington and its European allies during consultations over whether the draft should call for a suspension of Russian assistance to the construction of Iran's Bushehr nuclear power station, a step Moscow would oppose.

Wednesday, a State Department spokesman suggested it could take the major powers weeks to agree on the sanctions resolution.

Iran on Wednesday confirmed it has installed new equipment to step up uranium enrichment work despite the threat of UN sanctions.

Related Links
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North Holds More Mass Rallies To Celebrate The Bomb As South Confirms Test
Seoul (AFP) Oct 25, 2006
North Korea has held more mass rallies to celebrate its first nuclear test, the communist state's official media said Wednesday. Officials, soldiers, workers and students "welcomed a success in the historic nuclear test" at separate rallies in three provinces Tuesday, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.







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