Notwithstanding Iran's nuclear deal with Turkey and Brazil, the US today said it has reached an agreement with Russia and China on imposing fresh sanctions on Tehran for not meeting its international obligations with respect to its atomic programme.
A draft of the proposed sanctions resolution would be distributed to the members if the UN Security Council in New York today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in her testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
"We have been working closely with our P5 + 1 partners for several weeks on the draft of a new sanctions resolution on Iran. Today, I am pleased to announce that we have reached agreement on a strong draft with strong cooperation from both Russia and China. We plan to circulate that draft to the entire Security Council today," Clinton said.
"This announcement is a convincing answer to the efforts undertaken in Tehran over the last few days. There are number of unanswered questions regarding the announcements coming from Tehran. (We) acknowledge the sincere efforts of Turkey and Brazil to find a resolution regarding Iran's standoff with the international community over its nuclear programmes," she said.
"The P5 + 1 including Russia, China, US, France, the UK and Germany along with the high representative of the EU are proceeding to rally the international community on behalf of a strong sanctions resolutions that will, in our view would send, a message about what is expected of Iran," she said.
Iran yesterday signed an agreement with Turkey and Brazil -- both non-permanent UN Security Council members -- to ship 1,200 kilogram of its low enriched uranium to Turkey for a later swap for nuclear reactor fuel.
The US yesterday said it salutes the effort of Brazil and Turkey on reaching a nuclear swapping deal with Iran, but questioned the real Iranian intentions in this regard.
"If they were to make good on this and ship out 1,200 kilograms of low-enriched uranium, yes, that would represent progress. But, it is important to understand that this agreement/proposal is less than what they agreed to last October," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.
"And understand that even though they agreed to this last October, it never came to pass because they changed their mind. So that's why I say the words and the deeds of the leadership in Iran have rarely coincided," he said.
The Press Secretary said while shipping out the low-enriched uranium would represent some progress, the United States and the international community still has concerns about the overall thrust of the nuclear programme.