[DEBATE] : at the UN the SA mouse roars
mfleshman at aol.com
mfleshman at aol.com
Tue Mar 20 17:08:01 GMT 2007
Viva DK! Does this make Thabo "sub anti-imperialistist" Patrick?
A blow against the most exclusive Green Room of them all and at least an effort to throw a spanner in the works of Bush's next war.
SA seeks UN sanctions 'time out'
20/03/2007 09:04 - (SA)
New York - South Africa on Monday called for a 90-day "time out" on sanctions against Iran, and said a resolution drafted by six world powers should drop an embargo on arms exports and financial sanctions targeting Iran's Revolutionary Guards and an Iranian bank.
The proposals by South Africa, which holds the presidency of the UN security council this month, were obtained by The Associated Press ahead of an informal council meeting on Tuesday and the first formal discussion on Wednesday on the draft resolution.
Germany and the five veto-wielding permanent council nations - the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France - agreed on modest new sanctions on Thursday to step up pressure on Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, which can be used to produce nuclear energy or nuclear weapons.
But South Africa and the nine other non-permanent council members were not part of the negotiations and only received the draft on Thursday to consider and propose changes.
The extensive amendments to the draft proposed by South African could delay a vote on the resolution, though with support from the five permanent members, the draft is almost certain to be adopted.
France's UN ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere said the South African amendments were not consistent with the approach of the six powers. "It weakened a lot the resolution, and we think that pressure should be put on Iran," he said.
Late on Monday afternoon, ambassadors from the five permanent council nations met privately and US ambassador Alejandro Wolff said afterward they briefly discussed the South African amendments.
He said he expects Tuesday's informal meeting to "reiterate that there is a political horizon that goes along with this (resolution), revolving around negotiations once there's a verified suspension".
Li Junhua, a senior Chinese diplomat, said China remains committed to the draft resolution.
"By the same token, it doesn't mean China would reject any constructive new ideas," he said, noting that the permanent members told the non-permanent members, who are elected for two-year terms, that "we would carefully and patiently listen to their voices."
In its paper on "required amendments to the new draft," South Africa backed a proposal made late January by UN nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei at the World Economic Forum in Davos for a 90-day "simultaneous time out" as a way to defuse tensions.
Under ElBaradei's suggestion, Iran would suspend its enrichment activities and the security council would put on hold implementing sanctions so both sides could "go to the negotiating table" in hopes of achieving a comprehensive settlement not only covering nuclear issues but security, economic and political concerns as well.
The South African paper said "the 90 day period of grace provided to Iran would allow for a de-escalation of tensions and create an opportunity for Iran and the other parties involved to resume negotiations towards a long-term peaceful solution.
"This short period would be sufficient to make progress with political negotiations but would be insignificant in terms of the further advancement of Iran's enrichment programme," the paper said.
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