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6 Aug, 2008 22:49

UN hits Iran with more sanctions

On Wednesday, the United Nations Security council and Germany agreed to impose new sanctions on Iran after it failed to scale back its nuclear programme. Tehran insists its nuclear industry is for energy production rather than the manufacture of atomic we

Earlier this year, the UN Security council and Germany drew up a package that offered Tehran political and economic benefits in exchange for changes to its nuclear programme. In particular, the UN wants Iran to stop uranium enrichment, which can be used in the production of nuclear weapons.

The informal deadline for Iran to halt its nuclear enrichment activity passed on Saturday.
The U.S. State Department representative was present at Wednesday's session in the UN indicating Washington's seriousness about the package.

Meanwhile, Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin remains optimistic about future talks with Iran.

“The main thing to remember is that the negotiating track is opened. There are contacts between the parties. Of course, some people raise the question of sanctions from time to time but I think we should focus on the negotiated opportunities which this may produce. Various countries have different strategies and the talks have not been easy. We would have preferred a more straightforward and positive answer from our Iranian colleagues but this matter has been with us for a long time and we believe some progress has been made,” Vitaly Churkin said.