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UNSC to vote on Iran sanctions today

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 9, 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."

PTI

First Published: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 - 10:10

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