New York Times: A new Security Council resolution on Irans nuclear program will propose restrictions on cargo to and from Iran, travel bans and asset freezes for people involved in the program and monitoring of Iranian financial institutions, according to a draft text circulated Friday. The New York Times
By WARREN HOGE
Published: January 26, 2008
UNITED NATIONS A new Security Council resolution on Irans nuclear program will propose restrictions on cargo to and from Iran, travel bans and asset freezes for people involved in the program and monitoring of Iranian financial institutions, according to a draft text circulated Friday.
The proposals were agreed to in a meeting in Berlin on Tuesday of the foreign ministers of Germany and the five permanent members of the Council Britain, France, China, Russia and the United States. They were distributed in text form Friday afternoon to the 10 nonpermanent members of the Council as elements of a resolution the panel hopes to adopt by mid-February.
The Council has twice voted to impose sanctions to stop Iran from enriching uranium, in December 2006 and March 2007. The elements of this third measure tighten and extend earlier ones but do not go significantly beyond them.
Iran says that its nuclear program is peaceful and that it is entitled to enrich uranium. Western countries believe that Iran is trying to build a bomb and have pledged to prevent that from happening.
The new sanctions resolution would, for the first time, authorize inspections of air and sea cargo going in and out of Iran.
Bush administration officials want to model the new air and sea measures after the Proliferation Security Initiative, a loose grouping of dozens of countries that have agreed to intercept illicit arms shipments moving through their waters or airspace. In this case, a senior Bush official said, a coalition of the willing would seek to intercept ships suspected of taking restricted material into Iran.
The new measure would also ban all trade and supply of so-called dual-use items, materials and technologies that can have both civilian and military uses.
In one recommendation that was softened to gain the support of China and Russia, the resolution calls on countries to exercise vigilance over the activities of financial institutions connected to Iranian banks, in particular Bank Melli and Bank Saderat and their branches and subsidiaries abroad. Western countries had argued for an outright ban on transactions with both banks.
Covered by the travel ban, according to the text, would be those described as engaged in, directly associated with or providing support for Irans proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities or for the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems and people suspected of connections to the purchase of related materials.
Iran, which has defied the first two resolutions and continued its uranium enrichment, has already said it will not respond to any additional pressure.
Helene Cooper contributed reporting from Washington.