News / Middle East

Western Powers Urge New Sanctions Against Iran

The United States, Britain and France are turning up the heat for additional sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program.  The U.N. Ambassadors of the three western powers told their partners on the Security Council Thursday that the Islamic Republic has done nothing to lessen international concerns about the possible military dimension of its nuclear program.

British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said the recent report from the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), reinforced fears that Iran is acting deceitfully.

"While existing measures have had some effect, they have not yet led Iran to change course on its nuclear activities. That is clear from the most recent report of the IAEA, whose charge sheet against Iran is getting longer with each report. It reinforces our fears that Iran is acting duplicitously and illegally," he said.

He and the French and American ambassadors laid out a long list of Iranian non-compliance with the five existing Security Council resolutions and violations of IAEA safeguard measures.

Those charges include Iran's failure to suspend uranium enrichment and heavy water programs as required by the Security Council; its recent declaration that it is has increased its stockpile of low enriched uranium and is moving to raise its enrichment capability to 20 percent; the revelation that it built a secret enrichment facility at Qom and has plans to build 10 more such plants; its lack of cooperation with the IAEA on outstanding issues for more than a year and a half; and its rejection of an IAEA offer to provide fuel for a medical research reactor in Tehran.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice noted that four years have passed since the IAEA referred the Iranian nuclear file to the Security Council. She said Iran continues to flout its international obligations.

"Unfortunately, these ongoing violations and this behavior show a continued pattern of disregard by the Government of Iran for the clear and serious concerns over its nuclear program expressed by the international community," she said.
Ambassador Rice said in light of Iran's continued non-compliance, the Council must now consider further measures. She was supported by France's deputy ambassador (Nicolas de Riviere) who said the IAEA report on Iran was "damning" and the "time is up" for Iran and no other choice remained other than to seek a new sanctions resolution in the coming weeks.

The five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany have been following a two-track approach, both diplomatically engaging and pressuring Iran to encourage its compliance.

Russia has been less hesitant recently about new sanctions, as long as the door of dialogue remains opens.  But China, which has close oil and economic ties with Iran, has been much more reluctant. China's Deputy U.N. Ambassador Liu Zhenmin is heard here through a translator:

"We believe sanctions are not an end in themselves. In no way can they provide a fundamental solution to this issue. Therefore, diplomatic negotiations and peaceful settlement still remain the best choice in this regard," said the Chinese ambassador.

Both China and Russia have urged Iran to accept a proposal from the IAEA in which Tehran would ship most of its enriched uranium to Russia and France for further processing into fuel for a medical research reactor.  Western powers say Iran's failure to respond positively to that offer shows its true nuclear intentions are military, not peaceful.

Should a new sanctions resolution come before the council soon, China's support may not be the only council member's in question. Among the 10 non-permanent members, the support of Brazil, Lebanon and Turkey is widely believed to be uncertain. A resolution would require nine of the 15 members to vote in favor, and none of the veto-wielding members to vote against.

Ambassador Rice dismissed as false recent news reports that the U.S. had circulated a draft resolution among its council colleagues in New York.

You May Like

Multimedia Brussels Schools, Metro Reopen Under Heavy Guard

City remains under the highest threat alert level due to what authorities have described as a 'serious and imminent' threat of attack

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

Americans Think About Strange Stuff at Thanksgiving

Millions of Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving, but they’re not necessarily thinking about turkey and stuffing

This forum has been closed.
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.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs