Envoys agree on Iran sanctions

Package offers another 60 days for Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment work.

    Iran ignored a February 21 deadline to
    suspend its uranium enrichment [EPA]
    The text of the package, which was negotiated by the permanent five along with Germany, has been sent to the respective governments for consideration.
     
    "We have an agreement in principle based on some additional changes that were introduced and presented today by some delegations," Alejandro Wolff, the US envoy, said.
     
    "So it's new elements and understandings that need confirmation from capitals."
     
    Grace period
     

    "The main objective is our concern about Iranian nuclear and missile activities. So there is no need to expand beyond that area"

    Wang Guangya, China's UN ambassador

    The new draft resolution gives Iran another 60 days to comply or face the threat of further sanctions.
     
    The country ignored a February 21 deadline to suspend enrichment or face further actions.
     
    Under the package, all conventional weapons exports from Iran will be banned and the assets of more Iranian groups and companies will be frozen.
     
    In December, the council adopted a resolution to impose trade sanctions on Iran's nuclear material and technology, and froze the assets of some Iranian individuals and companies.
     
    Vitaly Churkin, the Russian ambassador, said the text of the new draft resolution "by and large" had been agreed.
     
    "On some of the elements some delegations are still double checking with capitals," he said.
     
    The text also calls on countries to "exercise vigilance and restraint" on selling heavy weapons to Iran.
     
    Exceeding objectives
     
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    "It is stubbornness and pride on Iran's part that has led to this impasse, and it can only lead to disaster for Iran"

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    The package discourages nations and international financial institutions from entering into new deals for grants, financial assistance and loans except "for humanitarian and developmental purposes".
     
    No mandatory travel embargo has been proposed for Iran's nuclear officials but governments are required to notify a council sanctions committee if any named people were passing through.
     
    But China was hesitant over the draft deal saying the text should not go beyond the main objective.
     
    "The main objective is our concern about Iranian nuclear and missile activities," Wang Guangya, China's ambassador to the UN, said.
     
    "So there is no need to expand beyond that area."
     
    He said Iran's state-owned Bank Sepah, which was on the sanctions list, "has transactions in many other fields so some language is needed to make the clear distinction".

    SOURCE: Agencies


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