Reuters: In an effort to toughen a European draft resolution on Iran, the United States wants the text to say that Tehran’s nuclear ambitions posed a threat to international peace and security, diplomats said. By Evelyn Leopold
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – In an effort to toughen a European draft resolution on Iran, the United States wants the text to say that Tehran’s nuclear ambitions posed a threat to international peace and security, diplomats said.
U.S. Ambassador John Bolton circulated among a small group a series of amendments, including stronger language on the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Similar wording on a “threat to international peace and security” was included in an October U.N. Security Council resolution imposing sanctions on North Korea after its nuclear test.
Conversely Russia, backed by China, proposed amendments Friday that would soften the sanctions and cut some of them.
The U.S. proposals “are very much in the spirit of the resolution we put down,” said one European diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because the amendments have not been made public.
“We certainly think they are in the ballpark of the negotiable,” he said. “However, they point in the other direction from the Russian amendments.”
The draft resolution from Britain, France and Germany demands all countries prevent the sale and supply of equipment, technology and financing contributing to Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. It also would freeze the assets of people and entities involved in these programs and bar them from travelling.
The rival views of the major powers indicate negotiations will be lengthy and difficult on the resolution, designed to punish Iran for not adhering to U.N demands it suspend its enrichment program. The West believes the program is a cover for bomb-making, but Iran says it is for peaceful purposes.
Another U.S. proposal was to appoint an outside board of experts to report to a council sanctions committee on whether the embargoes had been implemented by member states, according to two European diplomats. Several Security Council committees now have such an outside advisory board.
Germany, a key negotiator, and the five permanent council members — the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China — are expected to resume negotiations later this week, possibly Tuesday or Wednesday.
The draft resolution also excludes any use of force in the future by pointing to a specific provision in Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter that applies to sanctions only.
On Friday, both Russia and the United States submitted proposals and counterproposals that governments of the six are now studying.
Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s U.N. ambassador, said his government wanted the draft to be redrawn to encourage the Iranians to return to talks on its nuclear program.
Churkin said the Russian amendments shortened the European text. Bolton called the changes “extensive.”
Churkin also wants the resolution to exclude mention of the Bushehr nuclear plant that Russia is building in southwest Iran. The draft exempts Bushehr construction but not any nuclear fuel that may be delivered.
(Additional reporting by Carol Giacomo in Washington)