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6 nations back new sanctions vs. Iran

By Edith M. Lederer
Associated Press / May 19, 2010

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UNITED NATIONS — The United States introduced a resolution backed by all veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council yesterday that would impose new sanctions against Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard and seek to curtail military, financial, and shipping activities linked to its suspect nuclear program.

US Ambassador Susan Rice said the resolution would give “greater teeth’’ to existing sanctions and add strong new measures to intensify pressure on the Iranian government to resolve concerns that its nuclear program is peaceful and not aimed at producing nuclear weapons.

Russia and China, which have close ties to Iran, joined fellow permanent council members Britain, France, and the United States as well as nonmember Germany in supporting the sanctions proposal, ignoring a deal that Tehran agreed to a day earlier to try to stave off the penalties.

Rice said the pursuit of new sanctions has nothing to do with a proposed swap of nuclear material for Tehran’s research reactor that Iran agreed to on Monday with Brazil and Turkey. She said the proposed resolution is targeting the Islamic Republic’s refusal to suspend its uranium enrichment program and its plans to build 10 new nuclear facilities.

The draft resolution would target a range of activities related to Iran’s nuclear program, including the Revolutionary Guard, which controls companies and organizations with links to weapons proliferation, a senior US official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the resolution is not yet public. These firms and individuals would be added to a list of those subject to an asset freeze and travel ban still being compiled.

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