UNITED NATIONS - UN ambassadors from six world powers agreed in principle
Wednesday on a proposed new package of sanctions against Iran and were expected
to introduce a resolution to the Security Council on Thursday if their
governments approve it, the US ambassador said.
The package still needs to be
considered by the 10 non-permanent members of the UN Security Council that
haven't been part of the negotiations. However, an agreement by the five
veto-wielding permanent members of the council and Germany would be a strong
signal that the key nations on the UN's most powerful body want to send a united
message to Iran to suspend uranium enrichment.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gestures during a
meeting with Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi in Tehran, March 12,
"We have an agreement in principle based on some additional changes that were
introduced and presented today by some delegations," acting US Ambassador
Alejandro Wolff said.
He said the new elements needed to be approved by government officials in
each of the five countries that hold permanent council seats - the US, Russia,
China, France and Britain. But he called it a "package approach" that "would be
essentially the way forward in a resolution."
Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said "by and large it has been agreed."
He said some of the council members still want to double-check with their
governments back home on details of the deal. "I assume as they double-check,
they will get a positive response from the capitals, and they expect that this
is going to be the case, too," he said.
In December, the Security Council voted unanimously to impose limited
sanctions against Iran for its refusal to freeze uranium enrichment. It ordered
all countries to stop supplying Iran with materials and technology that could
contribute to its nuclear and missile programs and to freeze assets of 10 key
Iranian companies and 12 individuals related to those programs.
The council said it would consider further nonmilitary sanctions if Iran
refused to suspend enrichment. Iran's response was to accelerate its enrichment
The modest package of new measures agreed to by the ambassadors of the six
countries includes an embargo on Iranian arms exports and an asset freeze on
more individuals and companies associated with Tehran's nuclear and missile
programs, council diplomats said.
The new resolution would also call on all UN member states to exercise
"vigilance and restraint" on arms imports and on the entry or transit through
their territory of Iranians subject to the asset freeze, a council diplomat
said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the text has not been
It would also call on governments to make no new commitments "of grants,
financial assistance, or concesssional loans to the government of Iran," the