U.S., other major powers agree on new Iran sanctions

U.S., other major powers agree on new Iran sanctions
# 18 May 2010 18:59 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. The United States , the European allies, Russia and China have agreed on a new package of U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran in response to its refusal to halt its uranium enrichment program, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Tuesday, APA reports quoting news.yahoo.com website.
"I am pleased to say we have reached agreement on a strong draft with the cooperation of Russia and China ," Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee . "We plan to circulate the draft resolution to the entire Security Council today."
Clinton didn’t reveal details of the measures, which were formulated during weeks of negotiations among diplomats from the United States , Russia , China , Britain , France and Germany , a group known as the P5+1. There was no immediate confirmation from other P5+1 members.
Clinton’s announcement appeared to rebuff an agreement announced Monday by Iran , Turkey and Brazil that was seen as an attempt to head off a fourth round of U.N. sanctions.
Western officials allege that Iran’s nuclear program — which was concealed for 18 years from U.N. inspectors and was based on knowhow purchased from a Pakistani-run smuggling ring — is part of a secret nuclear-weapons development effort.
Iran rejects the charge and says it needs low-enriched uranium to fuel nuclear power plants that it plans to build. It also says it has the right to peaceful nuclear technology as a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the cornerstone of the international system to prevent the spread of nuclear arms.
The process that’s used to manufacture low-enriched uranium fuel for nuclear reactors also produces highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons.
Under the agreement announced Monday in Tehran, Iran would send 2,640 pounds, just over half of its stock of 3.5 percent low-enriched uranium, for storage in Turkey within a month. At the end of a year, it would receive 20 percent low-enriched uranium for fuel for a research reactor in Tehran that’s used to produce medical isotopes.
Iran said, however that the agreement didn’t prevent it from continuing to enrich uranium. Moreover, it would have retained enough low-enriched uranium to produce highly enriched fuel for a single weapon, according to experts.
The United States , the European Union and Russia have expressed skepticism over the deal.
"There are a number of unanswered questions regarding the announcement coming from Tehran ," Clinton told the Senate committee.