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15 Apr, 2010 09:35

World powers meet to discuss sanctions against Iran

Ambassadors from Russia, Britain, China, the US, France and Germany have met at the UN to talk over an American proposal to impose sanctions on Iran as a result of its alleged nuclear program.

The planned sanctions outline measures in areas such as energy, finance, shipping and arms exports.

Iran has refused to comply with a UN demand to stop uranium enrichment. On the contrary, the country announced that it had begun enriching fuel to a higher level.

Western powers suspect that Tehran could be developing atomic weapons under the guise of peaceful nuclear research. Others believe that any new sanctions will do little to stop Iran's nuclear intentions.

“Iran regards itself in a hostile neighborhood and the nuclear program has widespread support even among so-called liberals in Iran,” noted Ivan Eland, Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at The Independent Institute. “Even if we do get more sanctions, [it’s] not really the way to get Iran to give up its nuclear program,” he added.

Eland made it clear why many developing countries are against sanctions on Iran:

“First of all, Iran is very powerful in oil exporting. People put too much emphasis on power associated with oil, but, nevertheless, that’s the perception. Iran has a lot of power,” said Eland.

The second reason for this position is the fear that they could follow Iran’s case.

“Many developing countries are wary of putting sanctions on Iran because they feel it could be done to them at some point,” added Ivan Eland.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev declared that any sanctions must impact on Iran's politicians, not its people:

“Sanctions, as they are, rarely lead to a positive result. Sanctions are pressure – the motivation to do a certain thing. But in some cases, sanctions are unavoidable. Unfortunately, in recent times, Iran has not informed us of any changes in its position.”

“These sanctions have to be agreed upon. They have to be smart, efficient and must not damage the humanitarian situation. It would be better to solve this problem without sanctions. I see a policy of diplomatic settlement as much more productive”, said Medvedev during his visit to Argentina.

Meanwhile, Vice President of Iran and the Head of the Iranian Nuclear Commission Ali Akbar Salehi said on Tuesday that the possible sanctions are a “double-edged sword”.

“They will create problems not only for Iranian people, but, ultimately, for those countries themselves [who implement them]”, said Ali Akbar Salehi in his interview to Russian newspaper Vremya Novostey.

Read also - Iran: Last Chance for Peace