Iran to face travel bans, more asset freezes

Updated: 2008-01-26 14:54

UNITED NATIONS -- Iran could face travel restrictions and bans on some of its citizens and an expansion of asset freezes imposed under two previous UN Security Council resolutions, according to "elements for a third sanctions resolution" made available Friday.

The proposal, agreed by Britain, China, France, Germany, the United States and Russia Tuesday, also expressed the willingness of the six countries "to further enhance diplomatic efforts to promote resumption of dialogue, and consultations on the basis of their offer to Iran."

The latest proposed measures, which will be the basis of deliberations by the 15-member UN Security Council in the coming weeks on a third resolution on the Iranian nuclear issue, include travel restrictions, travel bans, asset freezes, curbs on dual-use items, export credit bans, financial monitoring, cargo inspections, and possible "next steps" on Tehran.

The Security Council was scheduled to discuss the Iranian nuclear issue Friday, but developments in the Middle East pushed the item to next Monday, diplomats said.

According to the "elements," a copy of which was obtained by Xinhua, all states are urged to "exercise vigilance and restraint regarding the entry into or transit through their territories of individuals who are engaged in, directly associated with or providing support for Iran's proliferation sensitive nuclear activities or for the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems."

The travel restrictions also apply to people "involved in procurement of the prohibited items, goods, equipment, materials and technology" specified in UN Security Council Resolution 1737.

The elements contain mandatory bans on entry and transit of designated individuals "provided that nothing ... shall oblige a state to refuse its own nationals entry into its territory."

The proposal calls for an expansion of freezes imposed under UN Security Council resolutions 1737 and 1747 to cover additional persons and entities "and any persons acting on their behalf or at their direction, and to entities owned or controlled by them."

In addition to curbs on dual-use items, the proposal also urges countries to "exercise vigilance in entering into new commitments for public provided financial support for trade with Iran, including the granting of export credits, guarantees or insurance, to their nationals or entities involved in such trade in order to avoid such financial support contributing to the proliferation sensitive nuclear activities, or to the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems."

It also calls for "vigilance over the activities of financial institutions in their territories with all banks domiciled in Iran, in particular with Bank Melli and Bank Saderat, and their branches and subsidiaries abroad, in order to avoid such activities contributing to the proliferation sensitive nuclear activities, or to the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems."

On cargo inspection, the proposal urges countries "to inspect the cargoes to and from Iran, of aircraft and vessels at their airports and seaports owned or operated by Iran Air Cargo and Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line, provided there are reasonable grounds to believe that the aircraft/vessel is transporting goods prohibited under" previous resolutions and a third one, which will be based on the "elements."

The proposal expresses "serious concern" over Iran's failure to establish "full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and heavy water-related projects" and to resume cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

On the next steps, the proposal "requests within 90 days a further report from the Director General of the IAEA on whether Iran has established full and sustained suspension of all activities" mentioned in Resolutions 1737, 1747 and the upcoming third resolution to the IAEA Board of Directors and "in parallel to the Security Council for its consideration."

Based on that report, the UN Security Council will then decide whether to suspend or terminate sanctions on Iran, or to "adopt further appropriate measures" under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

On the diplomatic front, the latest proposal tells of a desire for "seeking a comprehensive, long-term and proper solution" of the Iranian nuclear issue "which would allow for the development of all-round relations and wider cooperation with Iran based on mutual respect and the establishment of international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature" of Iran's nuclear program.

The "elements" welcomes an agreement between Tehran and the IAEA "to resolve all outstanding issues concerning Iran's nuclear program" and progress made in that regard. It encourages the IAEA to continue its work to clarify all outstanding issues to help "re-establish international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear activities."

It says direct talks and negotiations with Iran will start "as long as Iran suspends all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, as verified by the IAEA."

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