Paris warns against 'altering' Iran sanctions

20th December 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 20, 2006 (AFP) - The French government Wednesday warned against any attempt to "alter the scope" of proposed UN sanctions over Tehran's nuclear programme, after Moscow said it opposed some of the measures.

PARIS, Dec 20, 2006 (AFP) - The French government Wednesday warned against any attempt to "alter the scope" of proposed UN sanctions over Tehran's nuclear programme, after Moscow said it opposed some of the measures.

"It is important to preserve the unity of the Security Council, but not if that means altering the scope of the resolution," foreign ministry spokesman Denis Simmoneau told reporters.

"That is why discussions are continuing, notably on what shape to give to restrictive measures against entities and persons responsible for sensitive activities targeted," he said.

"We are still following the timeline we set ourselves," which was to secure a Security Council vote on the text before Christmas, he said.

The five veto-wielding members of the Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — are trying to reach agreement on a European package of targeted UN sanctions against Iran over its refusal to halt sensitive nuclear fuel work.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that Moscow objects to including a travel ban for certain Iranian officials in the proposed resolution because it would amount to unwarranted "punishment".

The European draft includes an annex demanding a travel ban on 12 officials and 11 entities directly linked to Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

Although Moscow has appeared more amenable to Western calls for sanctions against the Islamic republic it has yet to give final approval to the proposed UN resolution.

Russia has close ties to Iran and is building the country's first nuclear power station at Bushehr.

The United States and other Western countries suspect that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian nuclear energy programme. Tehran denies this.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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