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Russia on Board for New Iran Sanctions

Friday, 29 Feb 2008 09:43 AM

By Stewart Stogel

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In what may be considered a coup for the Bush administration, the U.N. Security Council is expected to impose new sanctions on Iran -- by the weekend.

Word from U.N. headquarters in New York City is that the Security Council would agree on the wording of a new draft resolution imposing the new round of sanctions on Iran late Thursday.

But some last minute "suggestions" on the resolution's "tone" by 4 non-permanent Council members delayed any vote until the weekend.

"We expect to vote on Saturday," U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Zalmay Khalilzad told NewsMax.

The sanctions are a reaction for Tehran's continued refusal to suspend its controversial uranium enrichment program.

Barring any unforeseen events, the Council is likely to convene in an official, open and televised meeting on Friday to vote on the new sanctions. U.S. diplomats tell NewsMax they hope for a 15-0 vote, though French diplomats concede there may be "an abstention or two."

The new moves will increase import-export controls over items that Tehran could use in its nuclear program. They will also tighten financial controls on Iranian banks and impose travel restrictions on certain Iranian officials.

Sensing the impending Council action, the Iranian mission to the U.N. told a select group of reporters that Tehran will continue to defy the Security Council and continue with its nuclear activities.

Last Friday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (U.N.’s atomic watchdog) released a report stating that important questions regarding Iran's atomic "energy-research" program still remained unanswered.

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