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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

US to make another try at achieving consensus on anti-Iran resolution

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

United Nations, New York, May 8, IRNA
Iran-US-Nuclear
The United States has invited 14 members of the UN Security Council to attend a meeting here Monday night to try again to achieve a consensus on a draft resolution legally obliging Iran to freeze its nuclear activities.

The meeting is at the invitation of the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and comes after Saturday's fruitless meeting of the five permanent member states of the Security Council -- China, Russia, Britain, France and the United States -- in New York.

A draft resolution prepared by France and Britain on May 3 presenting Washington's demand that Iran stop its peaceful nuclear activities is to be discussed in the Security Council on Tuesday.

The five permanent members of the Security Council and its 15 members have held several meetings on Iran's nuclear case, but to date no common ground has been found.

Earlier, US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton expressed hope the foreign ministers of the Securty Council's five permanent members along with Germany would adopt the draft resolution before the dinner banquet that is to be held in New York Monday night hosted by US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana will be attending the meeting tonight.

Russia and China, two of the five veto-wielding members of the Security Council, are against provisions in the draft resolution that invoke Chapter 7 of the UN Charter paving the way for the imposition of sanctions and even military action on Iran.

Moscow and Beijing said they are not against the draft resolution in itself but its use of Chapter 7 of the UN Charter to justify the use of force to pressure Iran as insisted by Washington.

The two countries believe the resolution invoking Chapter 7 of the UN Charter as insisted by the US and prepared by Britain and France, if passed, would give these countries express permission to immediately impose sanctions or even military action on Iran without any further Security Council decision.

Washington's UN ambassador has explicity said the US could work outside the UN against Iran if the draft resolution failed to pass in the Security Council.

It is unlikely the US would put the draft resolution to a vote this week if China and Russia continue their opposition to it.

Tanzania, Argentina, Congo, Denmark, Ghana, Greece, Japan, Peru, Qatar and Slovakia are the 10 non-permanent members of the Security Council who will decide the fate of the draft resolution along with the council's five permanent members.

A resolution presented before the Security Council, in order to pass, needs 9 votes in favor and no veto.

By opposing the reference to Chapter 7 of the UN Charter in the draft resolution, Washington has put the ball in Russia's court and called on the country's ambassador to present a resolution that will have a mandatory character but without resorting to Chapter 7.

For the past three years Russia has given no explicit response to the US call made by Bolton.

US officials say they are insisting on a resolution based on Chapter 7 of the UN Charter because it gives the Security Council the power to enforce its decisions, stressing that without it no Council decision would be enforceable.

Chapter 7 of the UN Charter gives the Security Council the power to make decisions and even use force to counter threats to international peace or security.

The draft resolution, which is currently on the Security Council's agenda, invokes Articles 40, 41 and 42 of Chapter 7 of the UN Charter to prevent the transfer of both peaceful and non-peaceful nuclear technology to Iran.

If no consensus is reached in Monday evening's meeting, the US would be dealt a blow in the Council, but if there is, Washington would then prepare its next strategy on Iran with its counterparts.

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