AFP: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called for the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution “now”, imposing sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, or face losing its credibility. WASHINGTON, Oct 25, 2006 (AFP) – US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called for the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution “now”, imposing sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, or face losing its credibility.
“For the international community to be credible, it must pass a resolution now that holds Iran accountable for its defiance,” she said.
Addressing the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, Rice said Iran’s regime should pay close attention to the wide-ranging sanctions being imposed on North Korea since it carried out its first test of a nuclear bomb on October 9.
The sanctions were enacted unanimously by the UN Security Council, which is now debating a milder sanctions resolution against Tehran for its refusal to comply with an earlier UN order to halt enrichment of uranium.
“The Iranian regime is watching how the world responds to North Korea’s behavior and it can now see that the international community will confront this behavior,” Rice said.
“Iran can now see that the path North Korea is choosing is not leading to more prestige or more prosperity or more security; it’s leading to just the opposite,” she said.
Key Western UN powers this week presented China and Russia with a draft resolution mandating Security Council sanctions against Iran.
The text, crafted by envoys of Britain, France and Germany in consultations with the United States, was presented to the Russian and Chinese ambassadors late Tuesday.
Diplomats said the council’s five veto-wielding members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — plus Germany could meet Thursday to review the draft.
Western powers fear Iran’s uranium enrichment could be diverted to make nuclear weapons, but the Islamic republic insists its nuclear program is solely aimed at generating electricity.
Diplomats cited differences of opinion between Washington and its European allies during consultations over whether the draft should call for a suspension of Russian assistance to the construction of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power station, a step Moscow would oppose.
Wednesday, a State Department spokesman suggested it could take the major powers weeks to agree on the sanctions resolution.
Iran on Wednesday confirmed it has installed new equipment to step up uranium enrichment work despite the threat of UN sanctions.