Iran Nuclear NewsUN's first step

UN’s first step

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The Sunday Telegraph: Russia and China will be urged to back a draft statement criticising Iran’s nuclear activities after the five members of the United Nations Security Council meet tomorrow. The Sunday Telegraph

Russia and China will be urged to back a draft statement criticising Iran’s nuclear activities after the five members of the United Nations Security Council meet tomorrow.

The motion, drafted by Britain and France, would give Teheran 14 days to fall into line or face as yet unspecified action.

Sanctions are likely to be targeted at members of the regime, such as freezing bank accounts and imposing travel restrictions. They would also involve hindering access to any technology that could be used in military or nuclear programmes.

There is no timeframe for this policy, but a senior Western official said it would be pursued “within the next few months”.

Broader economic sanctions, such as a ban on Iran’s participation in the football World Cup – are ruled out, because the West does not want to alienate ordinary Iranians and because Russia and China would almost certainly veto them.

As a final resort the Pentagon has drawn up plans for air and sea strikes on Iran’s nuclear sites. The likeliest timing for American military action would be from autumn 2007 to the end of 2008, just before President George W Bush leaves office.

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