AFP: Fresh UN sanctions against Iran along with additional measures taken by governments could force Tehran to change its stance on uranium enrichment, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday.
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Fresh UN sanctions against Iran along with additional measures taken by governments could force Tehran to change its stance on uranium enrichment, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday.
He said the proposed sanctions would underscore Iran’s isolation and also provide a “legal platform” for countries and organizations, including the European Union, to take tough action against Tehran over its nuclear program.
While previous UN resolutions had failed to alter Tehran’s policy, “the ratcheting up of what other countries are willing to do on their own using the resolution as a basis does have the potential to change behavior.”
Iran’s elaborate efforts to block the UN Security Council resolution suggested Tehran was worried about the effect of another round of sanctions, the defense secretary said.
“If the resolution did not have an impact in Iran, it’s not clear to me why the Iranians would have made — are making and have been making such an extraordinary effort to prevent it from being passed,” Gates said.
“If it were irrelevant as far as they were concerned, I don’t think you’d see them expending the kind of diplomatic and other kinds of energy to try and prevent its passage.”
The fourth round of sanctions would expand an existing arms embargo, measures against Iran’s banking sector and ban it from mining uranium and developing ballistic missiles overseas, according to a US official in New York.
Gates said “the resolution provides a new legal platform that allows individual countries and organizations, such as the EU, to take significantly more stringent actions on their own that go way beyond, well beyond what the UN resolution calls for in and of itself.”
France expects a majority of the 15-member Security Council to support the resolution, diplomats said Thursday.
Washington and its allies have dismissed a deal brokered by Turkey and Brazil in which Tehran agreed to send around half its stock of low-enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for more highly-enriched nuclear fuel.