Secretary of State Clinton announced in her remarks before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on New START that the permanent members of the Security Council (the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia) and Germany have agreed to an Iran sanctions draft. The text will be submitted to the Security Council later today.
Watch this post for updates as more details emerge.
Update, 11:25 a.m.: The NYTimes reports that,
“a senior administration official said that one of the most critical sections of the proposed sanctions were modeled on a resolution passed last year against North Korea, after its second nuclear test. That resolution authorized all nations to search cargo ships heading into or out of the country for suspected weapons, nuclear technology or other cargo prohibited by previous U.N. resolutions.”
Sanctions will also target the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a prime mover and shaker in Iran’s nuclear program, and those financial institutions that support the Corps.
Update, 11:45 a.m.: Clinton just gave more details on the Iran sanctions draft at the SFRC New START hearing. She suggested that the timing of the Turkey-Brazil-Iran deal announced yesterday was “no accident” as it was right before sanctions talks moved forward. While acknowledging the “sincerity of the undertaking by Brazil and Turkey,” Clinton said that the international community deems it insufficient for Iran to make statements about peaceful usage yet failing to cooperate with the IAEA and United Nations calls for disclosure and cooperation.
She outlined three issues the international community has with regards to Iran’s nuclear program:
1) Refusal to suspend enrichment of uranium to near 20% levels, which is a violation of NPT safeguard obligations and UN Security Council resolutions;
2) The amorphous timeline for removal of LEU in the Turkey-Brazil deal, which could take months of further negotiation which is, according to Clinton, “unacceptable;”
3) Continued failure of Iran to engage with the P5+1 despite requests to do so since last October.
She reinforced the US commitment to move forward with the UN process and work with UN counterparts to get “as strong as possible a resolution as soon as possible.”