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UN Security Council to Vote on New Round of Iran Sanctions

The U.N. Security Council plans to vote Wednesday morning on a fourth round of sanctions against Iran for its suspect nuclear program. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice says the draft resolution has many new, serious and binding measures in it and she expects it will be adopted by a "strong majority" of the 15 council members.

Ambassador Rice described the draft resolution as "strong" and "broad-based", adding it would have a significant impact on Iran, which is why Tehran has tried so hard to prevent its adoption. She went on to summarize some of the new measures it would put in place once its expected adoption takes place Wednesday.

"There are binding bans on Iranian investment in uranium facilities and activities abroad," said Susan Rice. "There are binding arms restrictions, there are binding bans on launches of ballistic missiles that could carry nuclear weapons, there are a series of steps, which together result in a binding inspections regime."

Additionally, she said the resolution contains "groundbreaking" financial measures - which include restrictions on transactions by entities owned, controlled or acting on behalf of the powerful Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Iran denies charges that its nuclear program is for anything other than peaceful purposes and it has warned that any new sanctions could mean the end of talks on the issue.

The text of the resolution and its annexes designating individuals and entities for targeted sanctions was put into final form on Tuesday.

Council members Turkey and Brazil have been reluctant to support a new round of sanctions after their governments negotiated a deal in which Iran would send some of its uranium to Turkey in exchange for fuel to use in a Tehran research reactor.

A Turkish diplomat said following Tuesday's private debate that his government told council members that it is detrimental to the dual track approach of engagement and pressure on Tehran to have sanctions at this time. The diplomat added that the U.S. move to bring the draft resolution before the council the day after Turkey and Brazil had negotiated a fuel swap deal with Tehran was "too ignorant" of the diplomatic track.

In addition to Turkey and Brazil, Lebanon's vote is also uncertain. The Lebanese group Hezbollah has strong ties with Iran and is an important political player in Lebanon. A vote in favor of the resolution could cause instability in Lebanon. That country is expected to abstain in Wednesday's vote.