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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer More

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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs