News / Middle East

Six Major Powers Hold Conference on Possible Iran Sanctions

Margaret Besheer

Britain's U.N. ambassador says senior officials of the six major powers held a conference call Wednesday on possible new U.N. sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program.

Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told reporters that political directors from the five permanent Security Council member nations, plus Germany, spoke together on Wednesday.

"I have not had full readout of that meeting yet," said Mark Lyall Grant. "But they have agreed they will have a further discussion of possible measures early next week."

Those possible measures include new sanctions against members of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards Corps as well as sanctions against Iran's insurance and shipping sectors.

Security Council member China, which has been the most reluctant of the six to support new sanctions against Iran, took part in Wednesday's conference call.

Ambassador Lyall Grant was asked whether that signaled Beijing's willingness to support possible new sanctions.

"My understanding is that they have agreed to engage substantively," he said.

China's new U.N. ambassador, Li Baodong, told reporters that his country is firmly committed to nuclear non-proliferation and that maintaining peace and stability in the Middle East is very important.

He repeated Beijing's position that it supports a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

"Solutions should be found through peace talks and negotiations," said Li Baodong. "For a long time, China has been an advocate of diplomacy.  Now we are working along with other members, along with the international community, to find a peaceful solution to this issue."

Speculation has been growing as to when a new sanctions resolution might be presented in the Security Council.  Ambassador Lyall Grant says it will be brought to the 15-member body "when it is ready."   

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