PLANS FOR NEW UN SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAN CIRCULATED AMONG 15 MEMBERS OF SECURITY COUNCIL

PanARMENIAN.Net
May 19, 2010 - 18:14 AMT 13:14 GMT

Plans for a fourth set of UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear
programme are being circulated among all 15 members of the Security
Council.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the five veto-wielding
members had agreed on a "strong" draft resolution.

The measures foresee cargo ship inspections and new banking controls.

They come despite a recent deal in which Iran agreed to send
low-enriched uranium to Turkey in return for enriched fuel for a
research reactor.

But Mrs Clinton suggested Iran had been trying to deflect pressure.

For U.S. officials the core issue was that Iran intended to continue
enriching uranium, which the UN has banned.

The Turkish deal, which Brazil helped to negotiate on Monday, was
similar to one proposed by the West and its allies last year.

The members of the Security Council, which includes Turkey and Brazil,
were holding a session behind closed doors on the resolution, but
Brazil reportedly said it would not discuss the draft "at this point".

The U.S. is quite confident of getting a majority of Council members
behind the resolution although it may not get unanimity. The vote is
expected in June. The sanctions are not as strong as Western states
would have wanted and some proposals were watered down by Russia
and China.

Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin described the draft resolution as
"well balanced".

"That's why we agreed to accept the text on the whole after the long
discussions and corrections of the initial proposals and we find it
to be an appropriate one," Mr Churkin was quoted as saying by Russia's
Itar-Tass news agency.

There have been three rounds of UN sanctions against Iran, blocking
trade of "sensitive nuclear material", freezing the financial assets
of those involved in Iran's nuclear activities, banning all of Iran's
arms exports and encouraging scrutiny of the dealings of Iranian banks.

The U.S. and its Western allies fear that Iran is secretly trying
to build a nuclear bomb. Tehran says its program is aimed solely at
peaceful energy use, BBC News reported.