New York: Western nations pitched new sanctions against Iran in the Security Council amid signs that several members are reluctant to back a fourth round of punitive measures to deter Tehran`s nuclear ambitions.
New sanctions would show that "the international community is united behind a diplomatic resolution to Iran`s nuclear issue, and stave off any pre-emptive moves by others to resolve this issue by other means," Britain`s UN envoy Mark Lyall Grant told the 15-member council on Thursday.
He stressed that the proposed new UN sanctions should "be smart and effective" and should "target areas with an impact on the regime`s policy calculations."
"They should show the regime the extent to which the costs of their nuclear program outweigh any dubious benefits," Lyall Grant added. "At the same time, we should reaffirm our willingness to continue to engage with Iran."
Iran, which maintains that its nuclear program is solely for electricity generation, has ignored three rounds of Security Council sanctions and refuses to halt uranium enrichment, which the West sees as a cover to build nuclear weapons.
US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice also urged the council to "consider further measures to hold the government of Iran accountable" but stressed that a fourth Security Council sanctions resolution was not being circulated in the council at this time.