Iran Nuclear NewsUN council expects to move on Iran sanctions soon

UN council expects to move on Iran sanctions soon


Reuters: The U.N. Security Council is expected to vote on a draft sanctions resolution against Iran over its nuclear program soon, possibly within the next 10 days, Mexico’s U.N. ambassador said on Wednesday.

By Louis Charbonneau

UNITED NATIONS, June 2 (Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council is expected to vote on a draft sanctions resolution against Iran over its nuclear program soon, possibly within the next 10 days, Mexico’s U.N. ambassador said on Wednesday.

Mexican envoy Claude Heller, who is president of the council this month, said experts from the 15 member nations have been discussing the U.S.-drafted text and the panel’s 10 non-permanent members are awaiting annexes that list the names of individuals and firms to be placed on a U.N. blacklist.

“My understanding is that the co-sponsors of the resolution would like to have prompt action by the Security Council, to have a vote … in the next 10 days,” he told reporters. “We don’t have yet a precise date.”

The resolution, if adopted, will impose a fourth round of U.N. sanctions on Tehran. The draft was agreed last month by the United States, Britain, France and Germany, along with China and Russia, which have close trade ties to Iran. [ID:nTOE64H07U]

Western diplomats said on condition of anonymity that the six hoped to deliver the annexes — which have to be vetted by finance ministries and intelligence agencies — to the 10 rotating council members by the end of this week.

The annexes will contain members of and firms controlled by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, entities belonging to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, and other individuals and companies linked to Iran’s nuclear and missile programs to be subject to asset freezes and travel bans.

The draft resolution, Western diplomats say, resulted from a series of compromises between the United States and its three European allies, which had pushed for much tougher sanctions against Tehran, and Russia and China, which sought to dilute them.

Iran rejects Western allegations that its nuclear program is aimed at developing weapons. It says its atomic objectives are limited to the peaceful generation of electricity and refuses to suspend uranium enrichment.

The draft resolution calls for measures against new Iranian banks abroad if a connection to Iran’s nuclear or missile programs is suspected, as well as vigilance over transactions with any Iranian bank, including the central bank. It would also expand the U.N. arms embargo against Tehran.

Few of the proposed measures are new. But Western diplomats said the end result was probably the best they could have hoped for, given China’s and Russia’s determination to avoid measures that might have undermined Iran’s troubled economy. The draft has the backing of all five veto-wielding council members.

Council diplomats say it is possible that only 12 of the 15 members will vote for the resolution. Lebanon, Turkey and Brazil might abstain or vote against it. (Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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