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US expects India to implement Iran sanctions

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WASHINGTON: The United States has expressed confidence that India would implement the tough new United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions against Iran for its alleged clandestine nuclear weapons programme.

“I think India’s record on implementation of previous Security Council resolutions has been an admirable one,” US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns told reporters on Thursday.

“And I do expect that India, as its leadership has made clear publicly, will follow through and implement the new resolution,” he said when asked if India and the US were on the same page on sanctions against Iran.

India, he noted, has voted three times in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors to hold Iran accountable for its failure to meet its international obligations.

“Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has also reinforced on a number of occasions the fact that India shares international concerns about a nuclear-armed Iran and the obvious negative consequences that would have for a part of the world that’s very important to both of us, as well as to the global economy,” Burns said.

Manmohan Singh has time and again underlined India’s traditional ties with Iran and voiced opposition to sanctions that, in New Delhi’s view, end up hurting the common people.

While India believes that a nuclear powered Iran is not in the interests of regional stability, it has consistently advocated dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the issue of the Iranian nuclear programme and supported Tehran’s right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy within the purview of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

New sanctions target Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard and include freezing the assets of 40 additional companies and organizations — 15 linked to the guards, 22 involved in nuclear or ballistic missile activities and three linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines.

The sanctions also bar Iran from pursuing “any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons,” investing in nuclear-related activities like uranium mining, and buying some categories of heavy weapons, including attack helicopters and missiles.

The Iran issue figured during the recently concluded India-US Strategic Dialogue between team led by External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

EU ready ‘to take unilateral sanctions against Iran’

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The West suspects Iran’s nuclear drive may be aimed at acquiring atomic weapons

Finland – The European Union is ready to unilaterally impose new sanctions on Iran over its disputed nuclear programme, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner confirmed Sunday.

Asked by journalists whether there was a consensus within the EU for unilateral sanctions against Iran, Kouchner replied “broadly yes, but we have to talk about what kind of sanctions.

“And first we should devote our strength and time to getting a resolution in the UN Security Council and we’re working on that,” he said.

“The general consensus is also to not target the people but to target the economy, banking, insurance and travel permits for some particular people,” he added.

Kouchner was speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Finland. On Saturday his Finnish counterpart Alexander Stubb indicated that there was a sufficient consensus within the EU to impose unilateral sanctions on Iran if need be.

The statements were the first clear declarations by European officials that the bloc is ready to order sanctions outside of a UN framework, a measure which only recently several member countries had opposed.

Western governments, particularly the United States and France, are seeking further sanctions in the hope of stopping Tehran’s nuclear drive, which they suspect may be aimed at acquiring atomic weapons.

The Islamic republic says its nuclear programme is for purely peaceful purposes.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said any EU move was unlikely for the coming months as the UN Security Council is expected to take up a new sanctions resolution.

“The United States are expected to present a draft resolution at the end of March,” said Frattini, with consideration of the measure to take several months, which he called “a reasonable delay.”

Of the five permanent Security Council members, currently only China opposes new measures against Iran.

The 15-strong UN Security Council has five permanent veto-wielding members: Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

Adoption of a resolution requires at least nine votes from the council and no veto from the permanent members.

A European diplomat who asked not to be named said that EU members were not completely unanimous, with Sweden in particular still reluctant to support sanctions outside of the UN framework.

With the improved chances of obtaining an UN Security Council resolution the EU may avoid facing the question of independently imposing sanctions, she added.

Written by rohitkumarsviews

March 15, 2010 at 6:23 am