News

Britain, France Press Security Council for Action on Iran

Britain and France have introduced a draft U.N. Security Council resolution that would obligate Iran to halt its uranium enrichment activities. The United States strongly backs the measure. Western diplomats are hopeful the measure can be approved swiftly.

The resolution, which circulated among all Security Council members Wednesday, avoids any mention of sanctions against Iran. But it does invoke Chapter Seven of the U.N. Charter, which carries the force of law.

The measure would set a deadline for Iranian compliance with previous demands by the Council and the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency to halt activities the West suspects are part of a secret atomic weapons program. The deadline is still being negotiated, but diplomats suggest it is likely to be 30 days, or early June.

U.S. envoy John Bolton said, while the proposed resolution does not include penalties, it could lead to future measures and targeted sanctions if Iran fails to comply. "We've made no secret about that, that if Iran doesn't back away from their conduct, which constitutes a threat to international peace and security, that the Council would be ready to take steps subsequently, the first of which would be targeted sanctions, and we don't exclude that we would take other steps in connection with sanctions outside the council as well," he said.

Bolton expressed hope the Council could act on the resolution before political directors of the permanent five Council members and Germany gather in New York next Monday for further talks on Iran.

British representative Emyr Jones-Parry said there is already broad agreement on the text of the measure. "We've been in discussion here and in capitals with our colleagues from Russia and China. It's quite clear on the strategic objective there's nothing between the six of us. We do not want to see an Iran with a nuclear weapon capability," he said.

Russia and China have voiced objections to several provisions of the draft text, and when Chinese envoy Wang Guangya was asked by reporters Wednesday whether he could support a legally-binding Chapter Seven resolution, he replied "no, no, no".

But after the Council met, Russia's new U.N. envoy Vitaly Churkin hinted that Moscow might go along with the measure. He suggested a resolution might be useful in persuading Iran the Council was serious last month when it demanded that Iran cooperate more fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency and its director, Mohamed ElBaradei.

"ElBaradei report was very good. It did show that the potential of cooperation between IAEA and Iran has not yet been exhausted at all, but the fact of the matter is that unfortunately, the message which was sent by presidential statement of the Security Council on March 29th has not been fully heard by Iran, so under such circumstances, the decision made to proceed with the drafting of the resolution," he said.

Iranian news agencies quoted foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi Wednesday as saying his country would not give up its legitimate right to nuclear technology because of America's "bullying and pressure".

Iran has repeatedly denied having a nuclear weapons program, and said its uranium enrichment activities are for peaceful purposes. Last month, President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad confirmed that his country had joined the club of nuclear capable countries by enriching uranium to the level needed to fuel a power plant.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs