AP: Six world powers agreed Thursday on a package of new sanctions against Iran that include an embargo on arms exports and financial restrictions on more individuals and companies associated with Tehran’s nuclear and missile programs, many linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. Associated Press
By EDITH M. LEDERER
Associated Press Writer
UNITED NATIONS (AP) – Six world powers agreed Thursday on a package of new sanctions against Iran that include an embargo on arms exports and financial restrictions on more individuals and companies associated with Tehran’s nuclear and missile programs, many linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
The governments of the five permanent Security Council nations – the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France – and Germany gave a green light to the draft resolution hammered out by their ambassadors. It will be presented to the 10 non-permanent Security Council nations.
“We have an agreement and I will introduce a text on behalf of the six,” British Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said after a meeting of ambassadors from the six countries. “It’s a text which is our suggestions. It’s not ‘take it or leave it.”‘
The non-permanent council members will need time to consider the text.
“We anticipate that the voting would happen maybe well into next week,” said the current council president, South African Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo.
The agreement will be a strong signal of the unity of the five veto-wielding nations on the U.N.’s most powerful body – and a sign that they want to send a united message to Iran to suspend uranium enrichment.
In his first reaction to the move, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the Security Council an “illegitimate” body and said that any new sanctions on his country would only push it to be self-sufficient and further develop nuclear technology.
“Today, the Iranian nation fully possesses the nuclear fuel cycle,” Ahmadinejad said at a rally in Ardakan, central Iran, addressing his remarks to Western nations, according to state media. “If all of you gather and also invite your ancestors from hell, you will not be able to stop the Iranian nation.”
In December, the Security Council voted unanimously to impose limited sanctions on Iran for its refusal to freeze uranium enrichment. It ordered all countries to stop supplying Iran with materials and technology that could contribute to its nuclear and missile programs and to freeze assets of 10 key Iranian companies and 12 individuals related to those programs.
The council said it would consider further nonmilitary sanctions if Iran refused to suspend enrichment. Iran’s response was to accelerate its enrichment program.
The modest package of new measures in the new draft would freeze the assets of 15 additional individuals and 13 additional organizations and companies, according to the proposed list in the annex to the resolution.
Seven of the individuals are members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and three of the organizations are affiliated with the elite military corps, which oversees vital Iranian interests, including oil and natural gas installations and the nation’s missile arsenal, according to the annex.
The proposed list includes the Revolutionary Guard’s Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Morteza, the chief of the joint staff, Vice Adm. Ali Akbar Ahmadian, ground forces commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi and four other top officers.
Acting U.S. Ambassador Alejandro Wolff had called the issue of the Revolutionary Guards one of “the trickiest” in drafting the resolution. Russia had raised concerns that mentioning the Revolutionary Guard would amount to censuring the entire institution, so the proposed annex singles out specific companies.
Under the draft, Iran would be banned from supplying, selling or transferring “any arms or related material” and all countries would be prohibited from buying Iranian weapons.
The proposed resolution doesn’t ban arms imports to Iran but calls on all nations “to exercise vigilance and restraint” in supplying tanks, combat aircraft and other heavy weapons.
In the financial area, it urges all governments and financial institutions not to make any new commitments “of grants, financial assistance, or concessional loans” to the Iranian government.
There is no travel ban, but all countries would be asked to exercise “vigilance and restraint” on the entry or transit through their territory of the individuals whose assets have been frozen. The draft would also require all countries to report the transit or entry of any of these people to the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against Iran.