Ahmadinejad to miss UN vote on Iran

Ahmadinejad cancels UN trip ahead of vote on sanctions over nuclear programme.

    Ahmadinejad has said Iran will not back down over
    its nuclear programme [GALLO/GETTY]

    European investment
     
    He is expected to suggest that European companies invest in its nuclear industry through a consortium under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Vienna-based UN nuclear watchdog.
     
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    But the vote by the 15-nation council to impose sanctions is likely to be unanimous, although the Security Council would suspended the sanctions if Iran halted enrichment, Alejandro Wolff, the acting US ambassador to the UN said.
     
    "It is suspension for suspension," he said, "It is not a high bar for Iran to meet."
     
    The sanctions proposed in Saturday's resolution will impose an embargo on all conventional weapons sold by Iran and freeze the assets abroad of Iran's state-owned Bank Sepah, which the US has already done, isolating it from international financing.
     
    The text calls, rather than orders, nations and international financial institutions to restrict new grants, credits and loans to Iran, which the World Bank or the IMF are unlikely to issue.
     
    Ballistic missiles
     
    The resolution also calls for a voluntary travel embargo on Iranian officials and Revolutionary Guard commanders listed in the text and urges restrictions on the import of heavy weapons to Iran.
     
    The new measures are a follow-up to a resolution adopted on December 23, banning trade in sensitive nuclear materials and ballistic missiles, as well as freezing assets of individuals and institutions associated with atomic programmes.
     
    The resolution avoids touching on Iran's oil industry, the world's fourth-largest.
     
    The US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany, reached agreement over the resolution on Friday and to get the support of South Africa, Indonesia and Qatar, they added into the text the importance of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction and highlighted the role of the IAEA.
     
    In an interview with France 24, Ahmadinejad said: "Maybe they thought that with the propaganda we would back down. But we have not backed down and we will not back down."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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