Iran Nuclear NewsEuropeans weigh compromise on Iran sanctions at U.N.

Europeans weigh compromise on Iran sanctions at U.N.

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Reuters: Europeans are considering easing a proposed travel ban on Iranian officials in a move to get Russian support for a U.N. resolution barring Tehran from importing dangerous nuclear materials, diplomats said on Wednesday. By Evelyn Leopold

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Europeans are considering easing a proposed travel ban on Iranian officials in a move to get Russian support for a U.N. resolution barring Tehran from importing dangerous nuclear materials, diplomats said on Wednesday.

The suggested change is the key alteration in a U.N. Security Council resolution drafted by Britain, France and Germany and backed by the United States.

The Western nations hope the measure, aimed at pressuring Iran to suspend uranium enrichment which can produce fuel for nuclear power plants or for bombs, is adopted by Friday.

Unclear is whether the United States is in favour of the change changes, and whether they are acceptable to Russia and China.

Russia and China favour deleting a travel ban on leading Iranian officials and firms associated with the nuclear program. The final text may ask individual nations to notify the council of visits made by those on the list rather than a blanket worldwide ban, the envoys said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The resolution bans imports and exports of materials and technology relating to uranium enrichment, reprocessing and heavy-water reactors, as well as ballistic missile delivery systems. And to meet Russia’s objections, it excludes any mention of a light-water reactor Moscow is building at Bushehr in southern Iran, the country’s first nuclear power plant.

The measure is a reaction to Iran’s failure to comply with an August 31 U.N. deadline to suspend uranium enrichment and resume negotiations. Iran says it is pursuing nuclear power for peaceful means, while Western governments say its research is a cover for bomb-making.

Russia’s main objection was a travel embargo on 11 agencies or businesses and 12 people involved in Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, which are also candidates for a freeze on assets.

Although Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin has said he agreed with a financial freeze, he opposes the list, which is in an annex to the resolution.

Instead, Russia wants a Security Council sanctions committee to make the decision, a process that could take months. The resolution may include the list but allow the sanctions committee to add or delete names, if all members agree.

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