New York Sun: European diplomats will circulate a draft U.N.resolution on Iran’s nuclear program as early as today, but negotiations on the proposal could last “a couple of months,” officials said yesterday.
The New York Sun
By BENNY AVNI – Staff Reporter of the Sun
UNITED NATIONS European diplomats will circulate a draft U.N.resolution on Iran’s nuclear program as early as today, but negotiations on the proposal could last “a couple of months,” officials said yesterday.
Representatives from France, Britain, and Germany are drafting the resolution, which calls for punitive measures against Iran for refusing to suspend its uranium enrichment program. But a Russian official told The New York Sun yesterday that many issues surrounding the resolution are in dispute. The official, who requested anonymity, added that reaching an agreement could take as long as two months.
Although Russia and China joined America and the three European powers in London last month in agreeing to punish Tehran for its continued nuclear enrichment, they may not consent so easily to substantial penalties, several diplomats said. After signing a resolution on North Korea on Friday, Russia and China could even toughen their defense of Iran, one diplomat said.
“There is a difference between North Korea and Iran,” the Chinese ambassador to the United Nations, Wang Guangya, told the Sun.
While North Korea has tested a nuclear bomb and announced that it was doing so in defiance of the U.N. Security Council, Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, Mr. Wang said. Claims that Iran wants to use its atomic technology for military purposes are based on “suspicion,” he added.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Olmert flew to Moscow, where he is expected to present President Putin with arguments and data that Israel says prove that Iran intends to become a nuclear power.
“Russia understands that the Iranian threat is not against Israel only, and I am sure they don’t want [to see”> a nuclear Iran,” Mr. Olmert told reporters after arriving in Russia, according to the Israeli daily Ma’ariv.”As an important superpower with a substantial Muslim population, Russia is not interested in a potentially unstable situation that could shake our region.”
The new draft resolution is based on provisions of Chapter 7 of the U.N. charter, which makes enforcement of sanctions and other measures mandatory for all U.N.members.At the meeting in London this month, the foreign ministers of the five permanent council members and Germany heeded Chinese and Russian requests to specify only one provision of the charter Article 41,which allows for the enforcement of measures “not involving the use of armed force” in any future resolution. The Europeans and America agreed yesterday to allow Russia to continue its support of Iran’s lightwater reactor in Bushehr, southwestern Iran, Reuters reported. According to the report, the Bushehr project would be exempt from proposed sanctions banning international cooperation with Iran’s nuclear and missile program. Also yesterday, the U.N. General Assembly was unable to decide which Latin American country will receive a temporary seat on the U.N. Security Council next year.
Venezuela’s diplomats accused America of “arm-twisting” in its opposition to President Chavez’s candidacy.The American ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, denied any such arm-twisting and said that after almost 20 rounds of voting it is clear that “Venezuela is not going to win.”