AP: A retooled draft resolution on Iran’s nuclear program presented to the U.N. Security Council on Monday includes the names of top Iranian officials and organizations that would be targeted by proposed sanctions. Associated Press
By JUSTIN BERGMAN
Associated Press Writer
UNITED NATIONS (AP) – A retooled draft resolution on Iran’s nuclear program presented to the U.N. Security Council on Monday includes the names of top Iranian officials and organizations that would be targeted by proposed sanctions.
U.N. ambassadors said negotiators wanted to move swiftly on the draft, which would punish Iran for refusing international demands to suspend uranium enrichment and urge it to continue negotiations over its nuclear program. They said they anticipate a Security Council vote before the end of the year.
The organizations that would be targeted by sanctions include the country’s atomic energy agency, as well as companies involved in Iran’s centrifuge program, its pilot uranium enrichment plant at Natanz and the research reactor being built in the city of Arak. Individuals include a top official at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, senior officials involved with the Natanz and Arak facilities and a university rector.
Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said the list of those to be targeted by sanctions was “much-reduced” and aimed at those directly involved in Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.
Iran maintains its nuclear program is purely peaceful, aimed solely at producing nuclear energy, but the U.S. and its allies believe Tehran’s enrichment activities are ultimately aimed at producing nuclear weapons.
The draft resolution, which was circulated to Security Council members Friday, had been revised by France, Britain and Germany to try to satisfy Russia – an Iranian ally and a veto-wielding member of the Security Council.
The new draft specifies in greater detail exactly what materials and technology would be prohibited from being supplied to Iran for possible use in its nuclear and missile programs. The Russians and Chinese had previously complained that proposed sanctions were too broad.
The draft also removes references to a nuclear facility being built by the Russians at Bushehr, Iran – another demand by Russia. The facility, expected to go on line in late 2007, would be Iran’s first atomic power plant.
Russia’s U.N. Ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, said Monday he was pleased with the direction of the talks, though specific points still needed to be worked out.
“One important issue for us … has been that we feel strongly that the Bushehr project has nothing to do with the subject matter of this resolution so now it’s out of the draft and this is certainly an important development,” he said.
However, potential roadblocks remain in the text that could prevent Russia from supporting it. The new draft keeps a travel ban and asset freeze on companies, individuals and organizations involved in Iran’s nuclear and missile programs, which Russia has said it opposes.
U.N. diplomats said after the Security Council meeting that talks would continue Tuesday on modifications sought by Russia. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not permitted to speak to the media.