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U.S., major powers agree on new Iran sanctions

UNITED NATIONS — The United States introduced a U.N. resolution aimed at Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program Tuesday, having won long-sought and pivotal support from China and Russia for new sanctions against its powerful Revolutionary Guard and new measures to try to curtail Iran's military, financial and shipping activities.

The draft resolution, obtained by the Associated Press, would ban Iran from pursuing "any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons," freeze assets of nuclear-related companies linked to the Revolutionary Guard, bar Iranian investment in activities such as uranium mining and prohibit Iran from buying several categories of heavy weapons.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said the resolution, backed by all five veto-wielding members of the Security Council, 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 struck with Turkey and Brazil a day earlier in an effort to stave off the penalties.

Rice said the pursuit of new sanctions has nothing to do with the proposed swap of nuclear material for Tehran's research reactor that Iran agreed to Monday with Brazil and Turkey. She stressed that 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.

U.S., major powers agree on new Iran sanctions 05/18/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 12:04am]
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