Reuters: Tough U.N. sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme could create instability in the Middle East, Indonesia’s president said on Friday. JAKARTA, March 23 (Reuters) – Tough U.N. sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme could create instability in the Middle East, Indonesia’s president said on Friday.
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said he had called the Iranian and South African presidents to discuss a draft U.N. resolution on sanctions against Iran, drafted by Germany and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.
“We view that the situation in the Middle East is already very tense and every move on Iran or other Middle East countries, if not carefully thought over and calculated, could create new problems,” Yudhoyono told reporters.
Indonesia and South Africa, two of 10 Security Council non-permanent members, have proposed changes to the draft resolution to reflect their concerns.
Yudhoyono said he told Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to work to reduce tensions and that Indonesia was studying the draft resolution carefully.
Germany and the five permanent council members — the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China — have drafted the resolution.
While major powers said their proposed text was a final version, changes are still likely before a vote that British Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said was planned for Saturday.
The resolution demands Iran halt uranium enrichment that can be used to build a bomb or for peaceful purposes. The United States and other nations suspect Iran might be developing nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian program, which Tehran denies.
The draft resolution, obtained by Reuters, rejects nearly all the amendments from South Africa that would have stripped the text of most provisions on weapons and financial bans.
Among other changes rejected were requests by Indonesia and Qatar to include language encouraging a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East, which the United States turned down, presumably because it was aimed at Israel.
The draft would ban exports of all weapons and freeze assets abroad of 28 more people and institutions, including commanders of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and companies they control, and the state-owned Bank Sepah.
It also calls for restrictions on new financial assistance or loans to the Iranian government.