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8 Jun, 2010 13:50

Fresh draft UN resolution on Iran targets nuclear and missile technologies

The United Nations will have another vote on a draft resolution on Iran later this week. The new draft has already won backing from Russia.

If approved by the Security Council, the document will ban Iran from pursuing ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

It would also stop Iran investing in uranium mining, and prohibit it from buying certain weapons including attack helicopters and missiles.

The resolution appears to have won the support of Russia, which usually opposes sanctions, with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin describing the draft as “practically coordinated”.

This comes as the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency singled out Iran as a “special case”.

“The Iranian nuclear issue is a special one because with Iran we have issues with a possible military dimension which need to be clarified, which are not clarified yet,” said Yukiya Amano, IAEA Director General.

Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of Russia in Global Affairs, thinks “Russia did a lot to avoid unpleasant sanctions against Iran.”

“A final agreed setup is a compromise and actually Iran has much to thank Russia for. But at the same time we see that Iran is quite reluctant to accept many ideas which come not only from Russia, but also from other big powers on how to resolve this issue – and unfortunately sanctions were inevitable,” he added.

“It is most probable that the sanctions will be passed. But that will not change the course of Iran’s nuclear program because the nuclear program is, after all, peaceful,” Dr Seyed Mohammad Marandi from the University of Tehran told RT.

He also pointed out that Russian support for sanctions is very disappointing for the Iranian people. According to Dr Marandi, the Russian stance might sour bilateral relations despite all the effort on behalf of Mr. Ahmadinejad to promote close partnership with Russia.

“It’s also unfortunately very hurtful for Iranian–Russian relations, because Mr. Ahmadinejad is under a great deal of pressure by the Iranian public to distance himself from the Russian government. Many Iranians are upset by the Russian position.”

“Everybody realizes that sanctions are unlikely to change Tehran’s behavior. I think it’s a pity that when this resolution is adopted, it probably won’t be unanimous,” Anne Penketh of the British American Security Information Council told RT.

“Until now the big powers had actually ensured that they had got consensus resolutions adopted,” she added. “I’ll be very surprised if Turkey, Brazil and even Lebanon go along with this. So that is sending a message to Tehran that the international community is divided. Also, of course, interestingly Russia and China have come around on this resolution, which is actually quite tough.”

However, Iran is not the only country to find itself under the UN's microscope over its nuclear ambitions.

For the first time in 19 years, Israel will undergo investigation by the IAEA.

The board will discuss Israel's nuclear capabilities as a result of the push by the 18-nation Arab group of IAEA member states.

The latest move puts Israel in an uncomfortable position as it tries to prevent Iran from developing atomic weapons, but at the same time refuses to come clean about its own nuclear development.

Iran's representative at the atomic watchdog praised the decision and suggested that Israel should join the Non-Proliferation Regime and put its arms under the IAEA's supervision.