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Revised draft on Iran circulating in U.N.

Fri., July 21, 2006, midnight

UNITED NATIONS – Britain, France and Germany circulated a revised draft Thursday of a resolution demanding Iran suspend its uranium enrichment activities, and banning the transfer of goods and technology that could aid Iran’s ballistic missile or nuclear programs.

The text does not include general economic sanctions, but stipulates provisional measures that could pave the way for future sanctions or military action if Iran fails to comply. The draft text gives Iran until a yet-to-be specified date in August to respond.

Russia and China, which had blocked previous action on the resolution, agreed in principle to the move during a Group of 8 summit in St. Petersburg last week. Russia already has proposed amendments that would delay adoption of the measure.

“We are not in a rush at all,” Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters after a meeting Wednesday with the U.S., Britain, France and China. “We are giving some freedom to Iran to respond. We do not want to dictate things to Iran.”

U.S. Ambassador John R. Bolton has said he hopes to have a vote on the resolution next week.

The permanent members of U.N. Security Council plus Germany offered Iran a package of incentives on June 6 to persuade it to suspend enrichment – a process that can produce material for nuclear weapons as well as fuel for reactors. The package includes help with advanced reactor technology and the easing of U.S. sanctions on the sale of aircraft and aircraft parts.

Iran’s Supreme National Security Council said Thursday that the country will continue producing nuclear fuel, and that it would not respond to the European incentive package before Aug. 22.

The U.S. sees the resolution not only as a way to contain Iran, but as a new formula for halting the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology, Bolton said. The Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution last Saturday banning the transfer of goods and technology that would aid North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs. The same language is in the Iran resolution.


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