UN Security Council to vote on Iran sanctions
The UN Security Council will put to vote on Wednesday a US-proposed resolution for a fourth round of sanctions against Iran, the president of the council has said, Press TV reported.
Mexican Ambassador Claude Heller, who chairs the 15-member council this month, told reporters on Tuesday that the resolution would be put to vote on Wednesday morning, AFP reported.
The decision comes after closed-door talks between members of the Security Council, following Brazil and Turkey's call for an open debate on Iran's nuclear issue.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tehran would not continue negotiations with the West over its nuclear program if new sanctions are adopted against Iran.
The US efforts to push for new sanctions against Iran began last month, only a day after a joint nuclear declaration by Iran, Turkey and Brazil promised a big step forward in resolving Tehran's nuclear issue.
Based on the declaration, Iran agreed to send some 1,200 kg of low-enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for a total of 120 kg of higher enriched uranium to be used for the Tehran Research Reactor, which produces medical isotopes for cancer patients.
The declaration was welcomed by independent states and international organizations, including the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
The US, which has garnered the support of the council's other veto-wielding members, Britain, China, France and Russia, has stepped up its rhetoric ahead of the vote.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Tuesday he expected new UN sanctions against Iran to be agreed "very soon."
"I'm optimistic a resolution will be passed very soon," Gates told a press conference in London after talks with British Defense Secretary Liam Fox. "The faster it can be passed the better."