October 25th, 2006 04:48 EST
United States Pressing for U.N. Action on Iran
New York -- Because Iran has refused a package of incentives from European governments and the United States in exchange for suspending its nuclear enrichment program, the United States is pushing for U.N. action, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton says.
In a televised interview on Fox News October 24, Bolton said the Iranians' actions clearly demonstrate that "they are not going to give up uranium enrichment; they're not going to give up the pursuit of nuclear weapons, despite a lot of potential incentives that the Europeans have offered."
China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, along with Germany, have offered Iran a package of incentives to abandon its nuclear ambitions. These incentives include assistance in developing a civil nuclear energy capability -- the stated aim of Iran's nuclear program. (See related article.)
Bolton said that Tehran should be "watching very carefully" the international community's response to North Korea's nuclear test, especially the Security Council's imposition of mandatory worldwide sanctions.
International reaction, the ambassador said, "was as strong as I've ever seen, including particularly by China. That enabled us to get a unanimous Security Council resolution imposing very strict sanctions." (See related article.)
The Iran sanctions resolution now under discussion would differ from the one on North Korea, Bolton said. But the intention is the same, "to mobilize international support to isolate these regimes economically and politically."
"The sanctions we'll be looking at for Iran are not quite the same because this is a somewhat different situation. But the point to Iran is their continued effort to get nuclear weapons will result in their continuing international isolation," he said.
The sanctions imposed on North Korea were designed "to make sure that North Korea cannot acquire the technology and the materials that it needs to continue its weapons and ballistic missile programs," the ambassador noted. The sanctions being considered against Iran will be similar in that they will be designed to deny the Iranians the ability to continue uranium enrichment on their own.
The United States and the other permanent members of the Security Council -- China, France, Russia and the United Kingdom -- have begun negotiations on the Iran resolution, but have not publicly discussed the details. (See related article.)
For further information, see Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.
(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)