Reuters: Major powers failed on Wednesday to bridge differences over what sanctions to impose against Iran for its nuclear program and sent the dossier to the U.N. Security Council, the U.S. State Department said. WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Major powers failed on Wednesday to bridge differences over what sanctions to impose against Iran for its nuclear program and sent the dossier to the U.N. Security Council, the U.S. State Department said.
Political directors from the permanent members of the Security Council — the United States, France, Russia, China and Britain — as well as Germany held a video conference call and decided the “action” on Iran would go to the United Nations, said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.
But McCormack said the six nations had not yet agreed on what sanctions would be imposed against Iran, which failed to meet an August 31 U.N. deadline to give up uranium enrichment or face sanctions.
“There are still discussions that remain to be had on exactly what sanctions will be in the (U.N.) resolution,” said McCormack after the call.
Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, who represented the United States on the call, said the Security Council was expected to start drawing up the resolution by the end of the week or early next week.
“(We are looking for) a sanctions resolution that will raise the cost to the Iranians of what they are doing in the nuclear realm,” said Burns, according to a transcript of his remarks.
China and Russia have been reluctant to agree to punitive measures against Iran and some European allies such as France have also been reticent over such measures.
McCormack said there was general agreement on sanctions but not on the exact measures to be imposed. “It’s a matter of hammering out exactly which elements of the sub-set (of sanctions) will be in that resolution,” he said.
After North Korea announced this week it had tested a nuclear device, the Security Council has been focused on what punitive measures to impose against Pyongyang and action could be delayed on Iran due to this.
“I will expect the North Korea resolution will be the first thing but they will start work on the next couple of days on Iran,” said McCormack.