Reuters: There are still tactical differences between major powers about a third U.N. sanctions resolution against Iran over its nuclear program, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Thursday.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – There are still tactical differences between major powers about a third U.N. sanctions resolution against Iran over its nuclear program, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Thursday.
Political directors from the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain held a conference call on Thursday to discuss piling more U.N. sanctions on Iran for its refusal to give up sensitive nuclear work.
“We obviously still have tactical differences that need to be worked out, about timing and about what is specifically in the resolution,” Rice told reporters at a news conference when asked to comment on the conference call.
Rice did not say what these tactical difference were, but Russia and China had been holding back on agreeing to a third U.N. Security Council resolution, particularly after a new U.S. intelligence estimate this month found that Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003.
Rice said Germany and the permanent members of the Security Council dealing with Iran — China, Russia, France, Britain and the United States — all agreed that the two-track approach was the right one.
This approach involves tightening sanctions on Iran if it continues to defy U.N. Security Council resolutions while at the same time offering incentives to comply.
“We need to convince Iran that it should stop its enrichment and reprocessing activities,” said Rice, referring to nuclear work the West believes is aimed at building a nuclear bomb and Tehran says is for peaceful power purposes.
“Enrichment and reprocessing is, after all, the long pole in the tent because that is how one gets fissile material that can either be used in civilian programs but can certainly be used in a nuclear weapons program,” she said.
Two rounds of U.N. sanctions have already been imposed on Iran for failing to heed a U.N. demand that it halt uranium enrichment.
Earlier this month, Rice told a women’s foreign policy forum that she hoped the text of a new Security Council resolution would be voted on in the coming weeks but U.S. officials say it could take a lot longer.