Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Impending Sanctions Resolution?

On October 18, 2006, Iran warned that a United Nations Security Council resolution imposing sanctions against the country would wreck any possibility for a compromise to resolve the standoff over its nuclear program. While Ali Larijani said that continuing talks with EU foreign policy Chief Javier Solana is “still possible,” he warned that “in the case that a new resolution is passed by the Security Council, we will not be in the current point to resume possible talks.” Larijani also said, “Resorting to arm-twisting through the Security Council would be considered a security threat to Iran and will change (Iran's) behavior.”

Javier Solana said he spoke to Larijani on Monday but “the situation hasn't changed,” meaning Iran will not agree to suspending its nuclear enrichment program as a precondition for talks on its nuclear program with the US, EU, Russia and China. European Union foreign ministers said after a meeting on Tuesday that they have no choice but to back diplomatic talks at the United Nations about sanctions on Iran.

France said that a sanctions resolution will likely be circulated at the Security Council by the end of this week. Support for sanctions is growing among leading members after weeks of talks between the European Union and Iran failed to persuade Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment and start broader negotiations over its nuclear ambitions. The U.N. Security Council resolution will likely include limited sanctions and try to keep the door open to future talks. It remains unclear, however, whether any sanctions resolution will have the backing of Russia and China, and, even if they do back the resolution, whether they will adhere to it.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was in Moscow on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 to appeal to Russia to use its clout to end the standoff with Iran over its nuclear program, but he received no public reassurance from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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