Iran Nuclear NewsU.N. Council gets new draft decree on Iran nuclear...

U.N. Council gets new draft decree on Iran nuclear sanctions


New York Times: The Security Council received on Thursday a draft of a new resolution to impose sanctions on Iran for its defiance of demands that it suspend its nuclear enrichment activities and return to negotiations over its nuclear program. The New York Times

Published: March 16, 2007

UNITED NATIONS, March 15 — The Security Council received on Thursday a draft of a new resolution to impose sanctions on Iran for its defiance of demands that it suspend its nuclear enrichment activities and return to negotiations over its nuclear program.

The measure expands a roster from an earlier resolution that lists companies and individuals subject to an assets freeze. Among them are Bank Sepah, four groups controlled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, an elite military force, and seven commanders identified as “key persons” in the corps.

The draft also says that Iran is prohibited from exporting any arms or material related to its weapons programs and that other countries should make sure that none of their citizens transport or purchase any such material from Iran.

Alejandro D. Wolff, the acting American ambassador, said the draft was “a good, balanced, incremental step,” while Emyr Jones Parry, the British ambassador, said it was a “ratcheting up” of restrictions in the last resolution on Iran.

That measure, adopted on Dec. 23, called for Iran to cease nuclear activities within 60 days or face further action. Iran not only ignored the Feb. 21 deadline but also announced that it was accelerating its enrichment schedule.

The new document is a result of weeks of negotiations among Germany and the five permanent members of the Council, Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, and was agreed to overnight after last-minute reviews in the six capitals.

It will now be discussed by the 10 other members of the Council, effectively postponing a vote until late next week.

The United States and the European countries involved in drafting the resolution wanted tougher steps but had to factor in objections from China and Russia, which maintain close commercial ties with Tehran and protested any terms that could harm the Iranian economy or public.

Instead of the broad ban on imports of weapons that the Americans wanted, the draft calls on countries to “exercise vigilance and restraint” in supplying Iran with heavy weapons, including tanks, combat aircraft and artillery systems, or with any training or technical assistance connected to such weapons.

Also dropped from the original proposal is a ban on international travel by Iranian officials engaged in nuclear activities. It was replaced by a call on nations to notify the Council if any of the named people pass through their territory.

The text calls on countries and financial institutions to curb all grants, financial aid and loans to Iran except those “for humanitarian and developmental purposes.”

The draft gives Iran 60 days to comply or face a threat of additional penalties, which the text specifies would be nonmilitary.

In keeping with the drafters’ repeatedly stated wish to persuade Iran to return to negotiations, however, it emphasizes that all measures will be suspended if Tehran halts enrichment activities.

After 60 days, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, is to report to the Council on whether Iran has met the demand to cease enrichment-related and reprocessing activities. Such a report last month led to the current draft resolution.

Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said this week that he wanted to come to New York to appear at the session where a vote will be held. Richard A. Grenell, the spokesman for the United States Mission, said that an official request for a visa had been received Thursday. The Iranian party will include 38 others, most of them security people, he said.

Dumisani S. Kumalo, the ambassador of South Africa who is Council president this month, said normal procedures allowed for high-level representatives of a country that is the subject of a Council debate to appear before the panel and speak.

Mr. Wolff, the American representative, said, “I find it again ironic that President Ahmadinejad, who is quoted today as saying that he tears up Security Council resolutions and has no respect for what the Security Council says, is interested in coming and addressing the Council.”

Uranium enrichment is the first step in making fuel that can be used for nuclear power plants, but is also necessary for making nuclear arms. Iran has asserted its national right to pursue nuclear energy for generating electricity, but the United States and European nations contend that its real purpose is making bombs.

The December resolution ordered all countries to stop supplying Iran with materials and technology that could contribute to its nuclear and missile programs and to freeze the assets of 10 Iranian companies and 12 individuals conducting the programs. The new draft identifies 15 individuals and 13 companies.

The presentation on Thursday was made in response to complaints from the 10 nonpermanent members of the panel that Germany and the five permanent members in the past had labored for weeks in private on a text, only to submit it to the full Council and demand speedy approval.

Mr. Kumalo said the Council would insist on not being treated like a “rubber stamp.”

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