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Saturday, March 24, 2007

UN passes new sanctions on Iran:

Yes, previous sanctions have worked well huh?

So, the Security Council adds a few more.... any bets on whether this will help or not?

The council's 15 members adopted Resolution 1747, co-sponsored by Britain, France and Germany, that broadens UN sanctions imposed on Iran in December for spurning repeated demands to suspend sensitive nuclear fuel work.

The resolution, agreed after days of behind-the-scenes bargaining, blocks all Iranian arms exports and freezes the overseas assets of 28 additional officials and institutions linked to Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

It also restricts financial aid or loans to Tehran, and sets a fresh 60-day deadline for Iran to comply with UN demands or face "further appropriate measures" -- economic sanctions but no military action -- under Article 41 of the UN Charter.

Iran has repeatedly denied allegations that it is trying to develop nuclear weapons, saying its uranium enrichment is purely to help meet the country's energy needs. Uranium is the basic material for both military and civilian nuclear programs.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had demanded to be allowed to address the Council, but he canceled his travel plans late Friday as Tehran blamed Washington for delaying his visa, a charge denied by US officials.

The draft resolution was worked out last week by the five veto-wielding permanent members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus non-member Germany.

They had to overcome objections from South Africa, Indonesia and Qatar, which had sought amendments calling for a nuclear-free Middle East -- an oblique reference to
Israel which is believed to the sole, if undeclared nuclear power in the region.

The new resolution builds on the December sanctions which included a ban on the sale of nuclear and ballistic missile-related materials to Iran, foreign travel restrictions on Iranians involved in sensitive atomic and ballistic missile work and a freeze on their overseas assets.

An annex to the new resolution details the diplomatic and economic incentives which the six powers presented to Iran last June to coax it into giving up uranium enrichment.

The vote comes amid deteriorating relations between Iran and Western powers such as the United States and Britain.

Washington has toughened its tone against Tehran in recent months, accusing it of fomenting sectarian unrest in

Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns said last week that the new sanctions would act as a "vise" that would start to isolate Tehran from the rest of the world.

"Iran needs to think carefully about its options on the nuclear issue," Burns said at a conference on Iran grouping policymakers and experts.

"In my judgment they have made a series of miscalculations," he said.

Talk amongst yourselves...the sun is out again for the first time in 2 days and I am taking a short break from the computer to ENJOY IT!!!!