Reuters: Major powers are to discuss a menu of sanctions on Wednesday that could be imposed against Iran for its refusal to abandon uranium enrichment, the State Department said on Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Major powers are to discuss a menu of sanctions on Wednesday that could be imposed against Iran for its refusal to abandon uranium enrichment, the State Department said on Tuesday.
Political directors from the permanent five members of the U.N. Security Council — the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France — and Germany would talk via video conference, said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.
U.N. ambassadors are expected to take up the issue after Wednesday’s meeting, he added.
McCormack predicted discussions would begin “in earnest” later this week on a U.N. sanctions resolution against Iran, but said the Security Council would likely act more swiftly against North Korea, which announced a nuclear test this week.
“I would expect that the North Korean resolution would probably, almost certainly, move at a quicker pace than the Iran resolution,” he told reporters.
Ministers and senior officials of the Security Council’s permanent five plus Germany agreed in London on Friday to discuss possible U.N. sanctions to punish Iran for failing to heed an August 31 U.N. deadline to halt uranium enrichment.
Iran says it wants to master uranium enrichment to make nuclear reactor fuel for electricity generation. But the same process can also be used to make bomb-grade fuel.
The United States, backed by Britain, has lobbied hard for sanctions, but Russia and China have opposed them, favoring dialogue over punitive measures.