Key members of the U.N. Security Council were close to agreement on a draft
resolution demanding Iran suspend all nuclear enrichment and reprocessing work
and threatening to consider sanctions if it refuses, diplomats said on Tuesday.
Vitaly Churkin (C),
Russia's Ambassador to the United Nations, speaks with the media at UN
headquarters in New York. Envoys of six major powers reported progress on
a UN draft resolution demanding Iran halt uranium enrichment, but said
they needed further instructions from their
Negotiations on the resolution have dragged on for 10 days among Germany and
the council members with veto power - the United States, Britain, France, Russia
"We made a lot of progress today. This was probably the most productive
session. This bring us very close," U.S. Ambassador John Bolton told reporters.
France's U.N. Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere agreed. "The six should
soon be able to present a text to the (Security) Council," perhaps as early as
Wednesday, he said.
Britain's deputy ambassador, Karen Pierce was more cautious, saying said the
text was not yet complete.
"We are going to look at it overnight, reflect on the points in it, talk to
our capitals and come back and talk about it tomorrow (Wednesday)," Pierce said.
Foreign ministers from the negotiators, except for China, are now in Rome
trying to work out how to end the violence in Lebanon and Pierce said they might
look at the Iran text on the margins of the conference.
Tehran has vigorously objected to the resolution and says its nuclear
activities are to produce electrical power only.
The draft is expected to demand Iran suspend all uranium enrichment-related
and plutonium reprocessing activities as well as the construction of a
It says that if Iran does not comply with the resolution the council would
consider measures under Article 41 of Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which
relates to economic and diplomatic sanctions. But it excludes military force.
The date set for compliance is still open but is expected to be at the end of
One compromise is that the latest draft is under Chapter 7 of the U.N.
Charter, Article 40, which says the council, before taking any action, can call
on the those concerned to "comply with such provisional measures as it deems
Originally, the Western drafters, who fear Iran's nuclear activity is a cover
for bomb making, also wanted a reference to a provision in Chapter 7 that refers
to threats to international peace and security.
But Bolton said the draft made clear that "Iran is bound mandatorily to
suspend its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities."
At a July 12 meeting in Paris, all six countries agreed Iran had given no
indication it would engage seriously on a commercial and technological incentive
package offered by major powers in early June, and referred the issue to the
Iran is building a heavy-water nuclear reactor at Arak, 120 miles (190 km)
southwest of Tehran. Western nations are concerned the plant's plutonium
by-product could be used to produce nuclear warheads.