Second term Ahmadinejad leads Iran to brink of new sanctions
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Last Updated: Wednesday, June 09, 2010, 17:54
  
Tehran: In the year since his disputed re-election, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has led Iran to the brink of new UN sanctions with his defiant stance over a nuclear programme the West suspects is aimed at making an atom bomb.

Maintaining the hardline "not one iota" position that marked his first four years in office, Iran repeatedly rejected proposals drafted by the UN atomic watchdog last October to allay Western suspicions through a nuclear fuel swap.

When Ahmadinejad's government finally signed up to a face-saving version of the deal under Turkish and Brazilian auspices last month, the United States had already written off the idea because of the amount of additional uranium Iran had enriched in the meantime.

The UN Security Council is now poised to vote on a US-drafted sanctions resolution today for pursuing the nuclear drive which Tehran says is purely peaceful.

Ahmadinejad had counted on veto-wielding Security Council permanent members China and Russia, both of which have strong trade ties with Iran, to block US-led pressure for a new package of punitive measures.

But yesterday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the sanctions resolution had been "practically agreed upon" by the major powers, although he added that Moscow had fought to ensure that they "should not be excessive."

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, June 09, 2010, 17:54


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