Reuters: Deep divisions between Western nations and Russia have stalled talks on a draft U.N. resolution imposing sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said on Wednesday. By Irwin Arieff
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Deep divisions between Western nations and Russia have stalled talks on a draft U.N. resolution imposing sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said on Wednesday.
“We had an exchange of views across the range of issues,” Bolton said after a sixth round of talks among six nations. “I don’t know that we’ve accomplished anything I would describe as progress today, but we did talk about a number of issues.”
Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin appeared to agree.
“Well there is movement, but is it a progress movement or some other movement, I cannot tell,” he said, adding there had been “a rather intense exchange of opinion.”
The United States and Europeans want the Security Council to impose sanctions on Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs after it refused to suspend its nuclear enrichment activities, as demanded in an August 31 council resolution.
The West believes Iran’s uranium enrichment work is a cover for bomb-making while Tehran says it is for peaceful uses.
A draft resolution drawn up by Britain, France and Germany and backed by Washington demands nations prevent the sale or supply of equipment, technology or financing that would contribute to Iran’s nuclear or ballistic missile programs.
Russia, backed by China, has proposed roughly half of the European draft and leaves nations to decide which items Iran can buy.
Senior foreign office officials from the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia had a telephone conference call on Iran on Wednesday but apparently failed to break the impasse, Churkin said.
“We certainly have to keep meeting here,” German U.N. Ambassador Thomas Matussek said, adding: “We did not cover a lot today.”