Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
(photo credit: AP)
LONDON — The Obama
administration is preparing to circulate proposed tough new sanctions
against Iran over its nuclear program as early as this week at the
United Nations, US officials said Wednesday.
proposed measures, which would target elements of the Iranian
Revolutionary Guards Corps under fresh penalties as well financial
institutions under existing UN sanctions resolutions, are being
finalized and prepared for debate in the UN Security Council, the
officials spoke on condition of anonymity because discussions on the
outline of the sanctions are still ongoing between the five permanent
members of the UN Security Council — the United States, Britain,
China, Russia and France — as well as Germany and other countries.
officials would not predict when a vote might take place, but said
negotiations on a proposed fourth round of US Security Council
sanctions could begin within weeks.
Security Council has imposed three rounds of sanctions on Iran over
suspicions it is hiding nuclear activities and fears that it could
retool its enrichment program from making low-grade material to
produce nuclear power into producing weapons-grade uranium for
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton discussed Iran sanctions
Wednesday in London with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and
was due to have a similar conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister
Yang Jiechi on Thursday.
is meeting an array of foreign ministers this week in London, where
she and her colleagues are attending international conferences on
Afghanistan and Yemen, and in Paris on Friday, where she will deliver
a speech on European security.
her are senior State Department and Treasury Department officials
involved in recruiting support for the new measures.
Russia, and in particular China, skeptical of any new sanctions
efforts, the Americans have to tread carefully to maintain six-power
unity on how to deal with Iran.
over the Security Council presidency earlier this month, China said
it opposes new sanctions against Iran. Like the US, Russia, Britain
and France, China, which relies on Iran for much of its energy needs,
is a veto-wielding member of the council.
said she thinks Russia, China and others are coming around to the
view that it is time for the Iranian government to face consequences
for failing to prove its nuclear program is peaceful.
news services reported after the talks that Lavrov showed some
support for sanctions on Iran.
we can't wait indefinitely, and our partners are talking about the
need to discuss additional steps in the UN," Lavrov was quoted
said she was pleased with the responses she was getting, telling
reporters that there was a growing belief in the "international
community that Iran should face consequences for its defiance of
declined to talk about the timeline for the presenting the outline.
am not going to preview or pre-empt what we're doing."