Iranian Officials Dismiss UN Sanctions Draft Resolution
VOA News 19 May 2010
Iranian officials have dismissed a draft U.N. Security Council resolution that would impose a fourth round of sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program.
Mojtaba Hashemi Samareh, a top adviser to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, rejected the draft resolution as "illegitimate" in interviews with Iranian state media Wednesday.
Iranian Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi, who heads the country's Atomic Energy Organization, also said Wednesday the U.S. and other world powers would discredit themselves if they pass new sanctions. He said discussions on new sanctions have faded and the draft resolution is the last effort by the United States and its Western allies.
The draft resolution being discussed by the Security Council includes an arms embargo, limits on Iranian ballistic missile activity, and more inspections of vessels suspected of containing cargo related to Iran's nuclear program.
The United States announced Tuesday it had won crucial support of the sanctions resolution from Russia and China.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said the resolution would build on existing sanctions against Iran and give them additional "teeth." She said the measure aims to increase the cost to Iran's leadership for its refusal to stop enriching uranium.
The draft resulted from weeks of talks among officials from Germany and the five permanent Security Council members -- the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia. China and Russia have previously resisted imposing tough sanctions.
The resolution was introduced one day after Iran announced a plan to send much of its enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for nuclear fuel. That deal was brokered by Turkey and Brazil, two non-permanent Security Council members.
The United States and its Western allies accuse Iran of working to make a nuclear weapon. Iran says its atomic program is for peaceful purposes.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
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