Six powers agree on new resolution on Iran’s nuclear program

BERLIN, January 22 (RIA Novosti) – The five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany coordinated on Tuesday the text of a new resolution on Iran’s controversial nuclear program, Germany’s foreign minister said.

“Today we together agreed on the contents of such a new resolution,” Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced, following talks with his counterparts from the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia.

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The new, third resolution in two years is expected to contain additional sanctions against the Islamic Republic for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment. Western nations fear Iran seeks to produce nuclear weapons, but Tehran insists it needs nuclear technology to generate electricity.

Diplomatic sources cited by the Reuters and AP news agencies said the resolution would not offer new economic sanctions, but expand travel bans and asset freezes. The text of the document will be released after it has been distributed for discussion by the full Security Council.

More stringent sanctions have been blocked by China and Russia, with extensive business interests in Iran, whereas the U.S. has pushed for tough measures to be taken against the Islamic Republic

Steinmeier again called on the country to meet the demands of the Security Council and the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and said they expected positive moves from Iran.

Earlier on Tuesday, Iranian government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham said the country would continue uranium enrichment even if the Security Council adopted yet another resolution, citing the country’s legitimate right to nuclear technology.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said late last year that Iran would gain “a greatness that is 100 times more precious than nuclear energy,” if it could withstand pressure from the West over its nuclear program.

“Confronting those who speak in the language of aggression… is more important than the possession of know-how in the nuclear sphere,” said Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on November 21 at a rally at Ardebil, a city in the north east of Iran.

Also late last year, the IAEA issued a generally positive report on Tehran’s cooperativeness with UN inspectors, and a U.S. intelligence community report stated that the country had dropped nuclear weapons research several years ago.