The UN Security Council will approve new sanctions against Iran for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment -- but the timing is uncertain and the resolution may not get unanimous support.
US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said last week a vote would be scheduled today. But council diplomats said on Wednesday it was likely to be delayed until next week to try to get four non-permanent members who have expressed concern about the resolution -- Libya, Indonesia, South Africa and Vietnam -- to back it.
The five veto-wielding permanent council members -- the US, Russia, China, Britain and France -- have already agreed on the draft resolution.
The five global powers and Germany offered Iran a package of economic incentives and political rewards in June 2006 if it agreed to freeze uranium enrichment before talks on its nuclear program. But Iran has refused, despite two previous sets of UN sanctions.
Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin was quoted by the ITAR-Tass news agency on Wednesday as saying: "Russia will support new Security Council resolution regarding Iran if Tehran does not halt uranium enrichment in coming days."
The resolution needs nine "yes" votes for adoption, and council diplomats say Italy, Belgium, Croatia, Panama, Burkina Faso and Costa Rica will support it, so it will pass easily.
But diplomats said the permanent members want the resolution to get unanimous approval, just as the previous sanctions resolution against Iran did, so closed-door talks have been taking place with the four reluctant members.
The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks have been private.
Libyan UN Ambassador Giadalla Ettalhi told reporters on Monday that he would vote against the current draft, which would expand travel restrictions and the freezing of assets to more Iranian officials linked to the nuclear effort and impose a travel ban on some of those most involved in proliferation activities.
For the first time, it would ban trade with Iran in any goods that have both civilian and military uses.
It would also introduce financial monitoring on two banks and call on all countries "to exercise vigilance" in granting export credits, guarantees or insurance.
And it would authorize inspections of shipments to and from Iran that are suspected of carrying prohibited goods.
CLOSELY TRACKED: A US officer said that the warplanes were watched as they flew from Russia by way of Iran and Syria to Libya and were photographed multiple times The US Africa Command flatly rejected Russian claims that Moscow did not deploy fighter jets to Libya, saying on Friday that the 14 aircraft flown in reflect Russia’s long-term goal to establish a foothold in the region that could threaten NATO allies. US Brigadier General Gregory Hadfield, deputy director of intelligence, said that the US tracked the MiG-29s and Su-24 fighter bombers flown in by Russian military, passing through Iran and Syria before landing at Libya’s al-Jufra air base. The base is the main forward airfield for Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National Army, which has been waging an
‘SACRIFICED’: Hu Weifeng became the sixth doctor to die from COVID-19 at Wuhan Central Hospital, where calls to raise the alarm over the virus were suppressed The death of a Chinese doctor at Wuhan’s “whistle-blower hospital” has prompted a wave of anger at hospital authorities for not protecting front-line health workers in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. Hu Weifeng (胡衛鋒), 42, a urologist at Wuhan Central Hospital where the whistle-blower ophthalmologist Li Wenliang (李文亮) worked, died of the virus on Tuesday after a four-month battle. Hu is the sixth doctor from his hospital killed by the virus. Another doctor who spoke out, Ai Fen (艾芬), said that authorities told hospital staff not to wear protective gear so as not to cause panic and reprimanded her for “harming
Singapore’s otters, long adored by the city-state’s nature lovers, are popping up in unexpected places during the COVID-19 lockdown, but their antics have angered some and even sparked calls for a cull. With the streets empty, the creatures have been spotted hanging out by a shopping center, scampering through the lobby of a hospital and even feasting on pricey fish stolen from a pond. While many think of tiny Singapore as a densely populated concrete jungle, it is also relatively green for a busy Asian city, and has patches of rainforest, fairly clean waterways and abundant wildlife. There are estimated to be about
Indonesian officials are forcing people who break social distancing rules to recite Koran verses, stay in “haunted” houses and submit to public shaming on social media as the country battles to contain surging novel coronavirus infections. The Southeast Asian archipelago began deploying about 340,000 troops across two dozen cities to oversee enforcement of measures aimed at halting transmission of the disease, such as wearing masks in public. However, provincial leaders are buttressing these efforts with their own zealous campaigns to fight the coronavirus. Police in western Bengkulu Province have assembled a 40-person squad to find lockdown scofflaws and force them to wear