UNITED NATIONS — U.S. efforts at convincing the United Nations Security Council to impose a third set of sanctions on Iran have stalled, at least temporarily, say diplomats in New York.
U.S. diplomats at the U.N. tell Newsmax they are making “some headway” but admit that Russia and China are dragging their heels, despite an apparent “gentlemen’s agreement” on how to proceed. The agreement was made when key foreign ministers met in Berlin almost three weeks ago.
Diplomats at the United Nations say that the Council’s 10 non-permanent members prefer to wait until the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issues a report on Iran and its atomic energy activities due later this month.
Iran has defied two earlier U.N. demands to suspend its uranium enrichment program or face punitive action.
Tehran insists its uranium enrichment is related to its efforts to produce civilian energy, Washington counters it is aimed at secretly building nuclear weapons.
The United Nation’s latest deadline passed more than six months ago.
As the Council decides on its next step, reports from the Persian Gulf say Iran has installed a new set of gas centrifuges.
The new centrifuges, are capable of producing the type of gas necessary to make the fissile core of a nuclear warhead, say sources at IAEA headquarters in Vienna.
The latest devices are said to be far more advanced than those that were previously in use, sources say.
Though only 10 of the new centrifuges are believed to be in operation (more than 1,000 would be needed to produce a weapon), their operation will be a source of renewed concern to the White House.
Newsmax has obtained a confidential list of sanctions that Washington would like the Security Council to adopt:Limit passage of Iranians directly connected with or providing support for Iran’s proliferation of sensitive nuclear activities or for the development of nuclear delivery systems.Prohibit the sale or passage of “all items, materials, equipment, goods, and technology” that could be used in Iran’s nuclear activites.Call on all states “to exercise vigilance” in entering into any new commitments for publicly 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 support contributing to the proliferation of sensitive nuclear activites, or to the development of nuclear weapon systems.Call on all states to exercise vigilance over the activites of Iranian financial institutions such as Bank Melli and Bank Saderat and their branches and subsidiaries abroad.Call on all states to inspect cargoes, to and from Iran, of aircraft and vessels, at their airports and seaports, owned or operated by Iran Air Cargo and the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line.Require all states who engage in such inspections to file a written report of their findings with the Security Council within five working days.Requests the director-general of the IAEA to report to the Council within 90 days as to the status of Iran’s compliance with the Council’s demands.
Meanwhile, as the United States lobbies the Council members, one key player, Russia, which is nearing completion of a massive new nuclear power station at the Persian Gulf port of Bushehr, delivered the fuel needed to activate the station’s reactor late last month.
Though more than three years behind schedule, Iranian sources now claim that Bushehr reactor No. 1 will be fully operational no later than October 2008.
That will come less than a month before Americans will go the the polls to elect a new president.
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