UNITED NATIONS, March 3 (Reuters) – The United States, France and other Western powers are preparing a plan for a fourth round of U.N. sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program and hope to persuade Russia and China to back it.
Western diplomats say they hope the six powers leading negotiations on the Iran issue — the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia — can agree soon on a draft sanctions resolution to submit to the full Security Council.
The U.N. Security Council has already imposed three rounds of asset freezes, travel bans and a ban on business with firms and individuals linked to Tehran’s nuclear and missile programs and designated by the council’s Iran sanctions committee.
Western powers fear Iran, a major oil and gas producer, is covertly developing nuclear weapons. Tehran insists its atomic ambitions are peaceful and limited to generating electricity.
Following are possible scenarios for the outcome of the negotiations on a fourth sanctions resolution, which diplomats hope will be adopted next month.
This is highly unlikely. In negotiations with the other three Western powers, France had been pushing for sanctions that would have targeted Iran’s energy sector, arguing that proceeds from Tehran’s oil and gas sales are financing the nuclear and missile industries.
French officials also proposed banning the sale to Iran of items that could be used to repress the Iranian … >>>