UNSC to vote on Iran sanctions today
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Last Updated: Wednesday, June 09, 2010, 10:10
United Nations: The resolution imposing a fourth round of sanctions on Iran for its nuclear programme will be put to the vote in the UN Security Council Wednesday, Claude Heller, president of the Council and Mexican ambassador to the UN has said.

The Council members have been in discussions over the sanctions since Monday evening when Turkey and Brazil called for a "political debate" on the matter ahead of the sanctions.

Partly in response to this demand, Heller told reporters that private meeting on Iran will take place on Tuesday evening.

The US and its allies along with Israel fear that Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb, but Tehran, denying these allegations insisted that its nuclear program was only for peaceful purposes.

The draft resolution creates new categories of sanctions and includes: banning Iran's investment in nuclear activity abroad, banning all ballistic missiles activities, blocking Iran's use of banks aboard, asset freezes for members of the Revolutionary Guard Corps and setting up a UN panel of experts to enforce sanction implementation.

The US needs nine votes in total for the resolution to pass in the UNSC providing none of the permanent members exercise their veto.

Both Russia and China, which have previously raised objections against such sanctions, have conveyed that they are, so far, satisfied with the text of the resolution.

It is expected that Lebanon, Turkey and Brazil may vote against the resolution. Turkey and Brazil were not happy that their fuels swap deal with Iran did not stem sanctions.

In May, the two countries organised for Tehran to ship 1,200 kilograms of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey to be exchanged for 120 kilograms of 20 per cent enriched nuclear fuel rods to power the Tehran research reactor, which produces radioisotopes for cancer treatment.

The swap was similar to a deal- brokered with the US, Russia and France - that was supposed to happen in October 2009 but Iran backed out of it.

The big powers were still skeptical about the new deal and Washington was still pushing ahead with the sanctions.

Ahead of the resolution sanctioning Iran, the head of UN nuclear watchdog, International Atomic Energy Agency, has described the country as a "special case" because it is suspected that its nuclear programme could have military motives.

IAEA Chief, Yukiya Amano, told the Board of Governors made up of 35 countries in Vienna that "Iran is a special case because, among other things, of the existence of issues related to possible military dimensions to its nuclear programme."


First Published: Wednesday, June 09, 2010, 10:10

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