Iran Nuclear NewsRussia's proposals on Iran gut Euro text

Russia’s proposals on Iran gut Euro text


Reuters: Russia proposed major deletions to a European draft U.N. resolution aimed at stemming Iran’s nuclear ambitions, according to a text of Moscow’s proposed amendments obtained by Reuters on Tuesday. By Evelyn Leopold and Irwin Arieff

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Russia proposed major deletions to a European draft U.N. resolution aimed at stemming Iran’s nuclear ambitions, according to a text of Moscow’s proposed amendments obtained by Reuters on Tuesday.

Moscow’s objections to the sanctions plan, which included eliminating an assets freeze and a travel ban, are bound to drag out talks through November. They were discussed at a meeting of six major powers on Tuesday.

“Clearly I think in a number of difficult areas the difference cannot be bridged so I believe there should be more reflections in capitals,” China’s U.N. ambassador, Wang Guangya, said after the meeting.

Other envoys said the talks were still at an early stage. “The main thing is we now have a European proposal on the table. We now have some Russian amendments. We now have some American amendments and we need to discuss them,” Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, said.

But he conceded, “There is a considerable gap.”

The sanctions seek to punish Iran for refusing to suspend work on uranium enrichment, as an August 31 Security Council resolution demands. Washington believes the enrichment is a cover for bomb-making and Tehran says it is for peaceful uses.

The European draft U.N. Security Council resolution, drawn up by Britain, France and Germany, demands nations prevent the sale and supply of equipment, technology and financing contributing to Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Russia instead wants this provision to focus only on “enrichment-related and reprocessing activities,” heavy-water reactors and the development of “nuclear weapon delivery systems.” And Russia says such sanctions should be determined by national governments rather than be mandatory for all nations.


The European draft, supported in general by Washington, also bans travel and freezes assets of people and entities involved in the nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Russia’s amendments delete the travel ban, the freezing of financial assets and any mention of the Bushehr nuclear power plant Moscow is building for Iran. Churkin maintains Bushehr is not a threat to nuclear proliferation.

The European resolution exempts from sanctions construction but not the delivery of fuel to Bushehr, which costs about $800 million and is expected to go into operation next year.

Russia also wants any sanctions to expire in three months, unless the council adopts another resolution to extend them.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, who has submitted some of his own proposals, accused Russia of backing away from earlier commitments by its foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, in framing the international response to Iran’s nuclear program.

Bolton said changes sought by Moscow conflicted with commitments by Lavrov earlier in the year.

“We don’t think the Russian text is consistent with what foreign ministers had agreed previously,” Bolton told reporters.

Churkin said Moscow’s proposals were “fully in conformity with the understandings by the ministers.”

At meetings in Europe in recent months, foreign ministers from the Security Council’s permanent members — Britain, France, Russia, China and the United States — plus Germany agreed to take action against Tehran.

Washington has insisted the foreign ministers agreed to impose tough sanctions on Tehran.

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