The United States has agreed with China, Russia and other major powers on a proposal for “strong” new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday.
Clinton told a Senate committee that the five permanent members of the US Security Council - Britain, China, France, Russia and the US and Germany would send a new draft sanctions resolution to the entire council later on Tuesday, capping months of diplomatic maneuvering and painstaking negotiations.
Details were not immediately released, but the sanctions are expected to broaden economic penalties on Iranian officials and institutions. The agreement appeared to be a significant victory for the Barack Obama administration, which doggedly pursued sanctions since Iran rebuffed US overtures last year. The pursuit was complicated by initial resistance from Russia and China, both of which wield veto power in the Security Council.
Perhaps more significantly, Clinton’s announcement to a Senate committee came just one day after Iran, Brazil and Turkey said they had agreed on a plan for Iran to swap nuclear materials. Many believed the last-minute agreement would blunt the US-led drive for a fourth round of UN penalties on Iran.
Clinton said the agreement on a new resolution by the major powers was a rejection of Iran’s efforts to forestall penalties.
US and European officials had reacted skeptically to the Brazilian-Turkish-brokered proposal, warning it still allows Iran to keep enriching uranium toward the pursuit of a nuclear weapon.