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Rice confident UN will impose sanctions on Iran

Rice says that the goal is to get a resolution that makes sense in terms of convincing the Iranians that their behavior is not acceptable.

india Updated: Dec 01, 2006 06:34 IST

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Thursday that she was confident the United Nations would impose a sanctions resolution against Iran over its nuclear program.

Speaking in Jordan, her last stop on a Middle East trip that ends on Friday, Rice brushed aside Russian opposition. China also has objections to punitive measures against Tehran for its refusal to give up its enrichment program.

"I think we will get a Chapter Seven (sanctions) resolution but unity is not the end in itself. The goal is to get a resolution that makes sense in terms of convincing the Iranians that their behavior is not acceptable," Rice told reporters.

The United States and its European allies suspect Iran's civilian nuclear energy program is a cover for building a bomb. Iran says it is for purely civilian power purposes.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is expected to attend a Middle East democracy and development meeting along with Rice on Friday at the Dead Sea. There were no plans to discuss Iran.

She has meetings scheduled with German, Italian and British counterparts at which the Iran issue is expected to be raised.

"We have to do something and I am all for maintaining unity but I am also in favor of action. We will just have to look at what the options are," said Rice of the path ahead.

Rice met Lavrov in Vietnam earlier this month and she said they had "very good discussions" which she hoped would ultimately be reflected in a UN resolution against Iran.

European powers have circulated a fresh version of a resolution which European diplomats said was aimed at meeting concerns raised by Russia in an earlier draft.

In Washington, a Western diplomatic source said this week that the new draft removed all reference to Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor, which is being built by Russia, and considerably weakened the package of sanctions, as Moscow had demanded.

First Published: Dec 01, 2006 06:34 IST