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Russia Says UN Resolution On Iran Needs More Work


http://gdb.rferl.org/6FF14D74-CAA7-4BC9-BDF5-A93280D92820_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/6FF14D74-CAA7-4BC9-BDF5-A93280D92820_mw800_mh600.jpg Vitaly Churkin (file photo) (official site) December 22, 2006 -- The Russian ambassador to the UN says a revised draft resolution to punish Iran for its nuclear ambitions needs more work.


The United States and the European drafters of the resolution -- Germany, Britain, and France -- were hoping for a vote today.


But Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said more discussions on the draft were likely today, with a vote possible on December 23.


"The effort now is to make sure that this is clear in the text of the resolution and that the things which have nothing to do with those areas of activities, those [other] parts of the Iranian nuclear program, are effected by this resolution," Churkin said.


The resolution demands Iran end uranium-enrichment work. To this end, it bans imports and exports of materials and technology used in uranium enrichment, as well as ballistic-missile systems.


On December 23, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice hinted on Washington may offer some changes to the draft, but added that the resolution will be harsh.


"I am quite satisfied and quite certain that the resolution that will be adopted will be one that both says to Iran, 'You cannot defy the international community,' and imposes penalties on Iran for that defiance," Rice told journalists.


Iran says it is pursuing nuclear power for peaceful means while the West suspects its research is a cover for a nuclear-weapons program.


(compiled from agency reports)

What Would Sanctions Mean?

Economic sanctions could further undermine Iran's already shaky economy (Fars)

MOVING TOWARD SANCTIONS: If the United Nations Security Council imposes sanctions on Iran, domestic support for Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad will wane, according to ALEX VATANKA, Eurasia editor for Jane's Information Group.
Vatanka told a February 24 RFE/RL briefing that "economic sanctions will hurt the average Iranian" and, consequently, many "will blame the ruling clerics" for making life difficult and "impairing the country's long term development."
Vatanka said sanctions would be a serious challenge to the Iranian government. If harsh economic sanctions were imposed, Iran's poorest population will be hurt the hardest -- and might react "as they did in the 1970s and protest in the streets." Sanctions on travel, Vatanka said, would hurt a many Iranians because "Iran is a nation of small traders" who depend on the ability to travel to earn an income. According to Vatanka, unemployment in Iran is estimated at 30 percent, "so small trading is essential to survival." Although current U.S. sanctions "haven't worked," he said, "Iranians fear an oil embargo." He stressed that "oil revenues are a major part of the economy, so it is critical to look at this sector."
Should negotiations with the European Union and the UN fail, Vatanka believes that Iran would follow a "North Korea model," since Ahmadinejad's base of support among the "Islamist militias" has been "urging withdrawal from the NPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty]." The Iranian government's "tactic" so far, Vatanka said, is governed by the belief that "by shouting the loudest, you'll get concessions [from the West]."


LISTEN

Listen to the complete panel discussion (about 60 minutes):
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THE COMPLETE STORY: RFE/RL's coverage of the controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.


CHRONOLOGY

An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.

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