AFP: The United States said Friday it will host big power talks here Monday in a bid to quickly impose new UN sanctions on Iran that it hopes will lead to separate steps by Europe, Japan and South Korea. WASHINGTON (AFP) The United States said Friday it will host big power talks here Monday in a bid to quickly impose new UN sanctions on Iran that it hopes will lead to separate steps by Europe, Japan and South Korea.
Senior US diplomat Nicholas Burns said foreign ministry officials of the six powers — the five UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany — would review a proposed third UN sanctions resolution over Iran’s nuclear program.
Britain’s and France’s UN ambassadors on Thursday formally submitted to the Security Council members the text of a resolution for new sanctions, which they hope to see passed as soon as possible.
“It is our firm belief that there is all the more reason now for the Security Council to pass a third sanctions resolution,” the assistant secretary for political affairs told reporters.
Though China and Russia have been reluctant to impose more sanctions, the six powers want Iran to stop enriching uranium, a process which they suspect Tehran aims to use to develop nuclear weapons.
Iran insists it is only seeking nuclear power for civilian purposes.
“We want to bring this to an active phase in New York. We now want to begin a period of intensive debate,” he said.
“We would like it to be concluded as soon as possible and we would like a third resolution to be voted and that is not just the United States saying that this is the position of the P5 countries,” he added.
Burns said a new report by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “reinforces the need” for a third Security Council resolution.
The UN atomic watchdog said Friday it had made “quite good progress” in its long-running investigation into Iran’s disputed nuclear drive, but was still not in a position to offer a verdict on Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
It complained that Iran was continuing to defy UN demands to halt uranium enrichment and had supplied only patchy details to IAEA inspectors.
It also said Iran had started developing faster and more efficient centrifuges to produce enriched uranium, which can be used to make the fissile material for a bomb.
US National Security spokeswoman Kate Starr earlier said the United States was “disappointed” with Iran and would continue to push for more sanctions.
The draft sanctions submitted Thursday include economic and trade restrictions and a travel ban against officials involved in the nuclear program.
Burns said he hoped new UN sanctions “will give motivation to the EU to consider its own sanctions resolution, which we imagine will be far tougher than the Security Council sanctions.
“And we hope that Iran’s major trading partners, including close friends or ours like Japan, South Korea, will then look at this process and determine that they should be doing something to help send a different statement to Iran,” he added.
He said that the six powers meeting in Washington Monday “review the pace of the negotiations toward voting a third resolution,” but still hoped Iran would chose the track of negotiations.
In Tehran, top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said further sanctions would be a “disgrace,” arguing that the report proved that accusations that it wanted nuclear weapons were baseless.