Talks on Iran sanctions underway at UNSC: US

The draft resolution would build on existing UN sanctions on Iran.

Updated: May 20, 2010, 10:51 AM IST

Washington: The US on Wednesday said that the talks on imposing fresh sanctions on Iran for its nuclear programme are "underway" at the UN Security Council for which a draft resolution was introduced with "strong cooperation" from both Russia and China.

The draft resolution was introduced after the US reached an agreement with China, Russia and other key members of the Security Council. The resolution was introduced a day after Iran reached a nuclear fuel swapping deal with Turkey and Brazil, which the US termed as insufficient.

"The work is underway today (Wednesday)," State Department Deputy spokesman Gordon Duguid told reporters here, a day after the US distributed a draft resolution in this regard.

"I am not at liberty to go into any reaction by other members of the Security Council, but the sanctions are being worked on at the moment. This process now has a momentum of its own," he said.

As you`ve seen in past UN Security Council resolution discussions, things will move at a pace that is now determined the Security Council, he added.

"We`ll wait and see how on a day-to-day basis if we need to, but certainly over the course of time what we`re going to come out with in the end," Duguid said.

The State Department Deputy spokesman said Turkey and Brazil are part of the discussion in New York.

"We have been working closely with our P5 Plus 1 partners for several weeks on the draft of a new sanctions resolution on Iran.”

“Today, I am pleased to announce that we have reached agreement on a strong draft with strong cooperation from both Russia and China.”

“We plan to circulate that draft to the entire Security Council today," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday.

"This announcement is a convincing answer to the efforts undertaken in Tehran over the last few days. There are number of unanswered questions regarding the announcements coming from Tehran.”

“(We) acknowledge the sincere efforts of Turkey and Brazil to find a resolution regarding Iran`s standoff with the international community over its nuclear programs," she said.

The US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday that the draft resolution would both build on existing UN sanctions on Iran, and give them additional teeth, while expanding the breadth and reach of UN sanctions on Iran by creating new categories of sanctions.

Rice added, “The draft resolution restates the Council`s demand that Iran suspend its enrichment activities and other proliferation sensitive nuclear activities.”

“It then would impose broad-based sanctions, targeting a wide range of pressure points associated with Iran`s nuclear and proliferation activities," she said.

"It would create new expectations on Iran to comply with its IAEA obligations. It would ban Iran`s investment in sensitive nuclear activities abroad. It would impose new binding restrictions on Iran`s import of conventional arms. It would ban all activities related to Iran`s ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons," Rice said.

"It would impose a comprehensive cargo inspections framework to deter or detect and stop Iran`s smuggling and acquisition of illicit materials or sensitive nuclear items.”

“It has provisions to help block Iran`s use of the international financial system-particularly its banks-when they may be use to fund proliferation and nuclear activities," she added.

"It alerts states to the potential link between Iran`s energy sector revenues and energy-related technologies and proliferation.”

“It addresses the activities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, elements of which have been involved in proliferation. It establishes a UN Panel of Experts to help monitor and enforce sanctions implementation," Rice said.

"It will include an Annex of specific individuals and entities who will be subject to targeted sanctions including asset freezes and travel bans. This annex remains a work in progress.”

“We are confident that the P5+1 agreed draft resolution, when it`s adopted, substantially strengthens the current Iran sanctions regime, and we`re looking very much forward to continued discussions and consultations among Security Council members to achieve agreement on this draft," said the US Ambassador.

The United States has adopted a cautious approach after Iran reached a nuclear swapping deal with Brazil and Turkey.

The US on Monday said it salutes the effort of Brazil and Turkey on reaching a nuclear swapping deal with Iran, but questioned the real Iranian intentions in this regard.