Security Council receives Iran draft

Britain, France and the United States have introduced a UN Security Council resolution that could trigger sanctions against Iran unless it abandons uranium enrichment, despite objections from Russia and China.

    The text threatens to consider further measures if necessary

    The text threatens to consider "further measures as may be necessary" to ensure Iran's compliance, a veiled way of saying the Western countries would attempt to enact sanctions if Tehran carried on with its nuclear programme.
       
    It also calls on all nations to exercise vigilance in preventing the transfer of materials and technology "that could contribute to Iran's enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and missile programmes".

    Chapter 7
       
    The resolution was introduced on Wednesday under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which makes it legally binding.

    "This resolution will not deal with sanctions"

    John Bolton,
    US ambassador to the UN

    It gives Iran another chance to comply with the council's demands prior to a deadline that has not yet been decided.
       
    A Chapter 7 resolution allows sanctions or even war to enforce compliance, but a separate resolution would be required to activate either step.
       
    Russia and China, which could kill any resolution by using their veto power, are reluctant to endorse anything that might be seen as a step towards possible later sanctions or military action, although this draft does not specifically threaten either measure.

    Targeted sanctions

    However, the Western countries do favour targeted sanctions if Iran defies this resolution.
       

    Iran maintains that its nuclear
    programme is legal and peaceful

    John Bolton, the US ambassador to the UN, said, "this resolution will not deal with sanctions", adding that it was not in Russia's interest "to be within the range of another nuclear power".
       
    Emyr Jones Parry, Britain's UN ambassador, said his country, France and Germany believed that "the Security Council now needs to respond to indicate how it intends to proceed in the light of the absence of compliance by Iran".

    Division
       
    The key paragraph in the resolution states: "Iran shall suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development" and "suspend the construction of a reactor moderated by heavy water".


       
    The foreign ministers of Germany, the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China meet in New York next Monday and Tuesday to discuss Iran, but there is a scant chance the measure would be adopted before then.
       
    Iran maintains that its nuclear programme is legal and peaceful and recently accelerated uranium enrichment but is still far below the level needed to make an atomic bomb.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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