03/23/2007, 00.00
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UN Vote on new sanctions against Iran expected tomorrow

The resolution that will be tabled tomorrow in the Security Council is expected to include an arms export ban, trade and financial restrictions and a travel ban on certain Iranian officials.

New York (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The United Nations Security Council resolution imposing new sanctions on Iran will likely be voted tomorrow. Yesterday, the 5+1 group that includes the five permanent members of the security Council (United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom and France) plus Germany has rejected changes to the draft proposal presented by South Africa, Indonesia and Qatar whilst accepting seven or eight small amendments to the text, this according to UK Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry.

At present talks are being held for the draft resolution to have the widest support in the 15-member council. Already France's UN ambassador, Jean-Marc de La Sablière, has said that “a large majority” of council members supported the draft.

It is still unclear whether Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will attend the meeting as he announced. US authorities had issued him a visa to travel to New York for that purpose.

It is expected that the resolution will ban any direct or indirect Iranian arms exports. It names ten Iranian groups and eight individuals who violated last December’s Security Council Resolution 1737 which required Iran to end its uranium enrichment programme and which Tehran failed to heed. Among those affected are seven key Iranian Revolutionary Guard (Pasdaran) officials, whose travels will be banned and assets frozen.

The rejected changes proposed by South Africa, Indonesia and Qatar included giving Iran 90 days to comply with demands to suspend uranium enrichment and calling for a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction and missile delivery systems, implicitly targeting Israel.

Among the amendments passed there is the recognition that International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has the authority to verify compliance of the Non Proliferation Treaty. And should the IAEA confirm compliance the Security Council can suspend sanctions.

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