US draft pushes new bans on Iran
One day after the US said an agreement was reached on draft sanctions against Iran over its nuclear work, the details of the proposed resolution is made public.
According to a Wednesday report by the Associated Press, the new US-prepared draft resolution calls on Tehran to suspend its uranium enrichment activities or face further UN Security Council sanctions.
If ratified, the draft will ban countries from selling Iran eight new categories of heavy weaponry including battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems.
The US says the new sanctions aim to halt Iran’s enrichment activities. However, some may argue that the connection between uranium processing and the sale of tanks, helicopters and other conventional weapons to Iran is unclear.
Analysts have expressed concern that the draft resolution is pursuing other objectives which have more to do with Israeli military threats against Iran.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama met with Jewish members of the Congress on Tuesday to reaffirm his support for Tel Aviv by announcing plans to boost Israel’s security.
The US president also updated the 37 Jewish members of the Democratic Party about his administration’s efforts to push for a fourth set of UN Security Council sanctions against Iran.
The ban on the sale of heavy weaponry to Iran comes as the Islamic Republic takes pride in its military self-sufficiency and rejects any dependency on the West for such matters.
According to an unnamed US official, the draft resolution also seeks to prevent Iran from obtaining ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons and obliges states to “take all necessary measures to prevent the transfer of technology or technical assistance to Iran related to such activities.”
The draft also adds the names of more individuals, companies and other entities to an existing list of those subject to an asset freeze and travel ban.
According to the source, the new proposal calls on countries to cooperate in the inspection of suspected shipping vessels — an act for which the ship’s flag state must give its consent.
It also demands a ban on providing services to Iranian-owned or contracted vessels suspected of carrying prohibited cargo.
The draft urges countries to block financial transactions — including insurance and reinsurance — which are believed to help Iran’s nuclear program. It also calls for a ban on licensing of Iranian banks overseas.