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U.S. Introduces Draft UN Resolution On Iran Sanctions

Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations
The United States has presented a draft resolution to the UN Security Council that would expand sanctions against Iran for refusing to halt its uranium enrichment program.

Washington says the draft has support from all five veto-holding members of the Security Council -- the United States, Russia, Britain, France, and China.

U.S. President Barack Obama has hailed the UN draft plan to impose tougher sanctions on Iran and again called on Tehran to live up to its international obligations.

The head of Iran's atomic energy organization, Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi, said on May 19 the resolution would "discredit" those countries after Tehran agreed to swap some of its low-enirched uranium for nuclear fuel rods through Turkey.

Washington is concerned that Iran still insists on continuing enrichment, despite the swap deal -- bringing it closer to being able to make atomic warheads.

Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, said "the draft seeks to support and not replace our efforts to engage Iran diplomatically."

"We've said throughout this process that the door remains open to Iran to live up to its obligations and achieve a better relationship with the international community. The draft resolution would both build on existing UN sanctions on Iran and give them additional teeth," Rice said.

The resolution would impose a fourth set of UN sanctions over Iran's nuclear program. It calls for measures targeting Iran's Revolutionary Guard, parts of the Islamic Republic's military, and financial and shipping industries that could be involved in nuclear activities.

compiled from agency reports