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Breaking News: Russia, China agree to draft Security Council resoultion to impose new sanctions for Iran

The New York Times is reporting:

The Obama administration announced Tuesday morning that it has struck a deal with other major powers, including Russia and China, to impose new sanctions on Iran, a sharp repudiation of the deal Tehran offered just a day before to ship its nuclear fuel out of the country.“We have reached agreement on a strong draft with the cooperation of both Russia and China,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told a Senate committee. “We plan to circulate that draft resolution to the entire Security Council today. And let me say, Mr. Chairman, I think this announcement is as convincing an answer to the efforts undertaken in Tehran over the last few days as any we could provide.”

The announcement came just a day after Iran said it would ship roughly half of its nuclear fuel to Turkey, in a bid to assuage concerns about its program. American, European and Russian officials reacted with deep skepticism to that proposal, noting that it would still leave Iran with enough low-enriched uranium to create fuel for one nuclear weapon if it chose to make one.

“There are a number of unanswered questions regarding the announcement coming from Tehran,” Mrs. Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Mrs. Clinton acknowledged the efforts of Brazilian and Turkish leaders who brokered the uranium agreement with Iran. But she said the six major powers that have joined together to pressure Iran to give up its uranium enrichment program “are proceeding to rally the international community on behalf of a strong sanctions resolution that will, in our view, send an unmistakable message about what is expected from Iran.”

Mrs. Clinton gave no details about the sanctions to be included in the resolution, but American and European officials have been seeking measures strong enough to convince Iran of the international community’s solidarity in preventing its nuclear program. The resolution, if it were to pass the United Nations Security Council, would be the fourth round of sanctions intended to induce Iran to give up any ambitions to build a nuclear weapon.

Iran has said its nuclear development program is intended to produce civilian energy, but American and European officials have pointed to work that seems unrelated to simply producing power and said Tehran has not complied with treaty obligations for permitting unfettered inspections to all of its nuclear facilities.

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Anthony Clark Arend is Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the Director of the Master of Science in Foreign Service in the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Commentary and analysis at the intersection of international law and politics.