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Hillary Clinton: Russia, China to back new Iran nuclear sanctions

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council favor a fourth round of sanctions over the Iran nuclear program. It's seen as a response to Monday's nuclear fuel swap deal.

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Complicating the effort to get the four extra votes is the fact that both Turkey and Brazil are currently non-permanent members of the council. The other current rotating members are: Austria, Bosnia, Gabon, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, and Uganda.

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Clinton did not elaborate on the specific sanctions the new resolution includes. But US officials have said that a draft resolution the US circulated among permanent council members picked up elements from a resolution sanctioning North Korea last year that allows inspection by any country of cargo ships destined for or departing from North Korea. Officials also said the draft Iran resolution included sanctions targeting Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, which is believed to be increasingly involved in Iran’s nuclear and missile development programs.

The text of the new resolution was to be introduced at a meeting of the full council at 4 pm Tuesday, a UN-based diplomat said. As for the timing of an eventual vote on the resolution, the diplomat said, “All the members have to first consider [the resolution], and then we’ll see from there.”

Complicated bargaining

Announcement of the Big Powers’ accord diminishes the “V” for victory sign Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad flashed following the signing of the swap deal with Brazil and Turkey, Mr. Doyle says. But he adds that the deal also complicates not just the bargaining that will go on to secure the nine votes on the council, but also eventual enforcement of the sanctions in a new resolution.

“What [the deal reached by Brazil and Turkey with Iran] does is complicate the argument that the sanctions regime is necessary and just,” Doyle says. “It’s going to be much more difficult for the US and its allies to convince the court of international public opinion that enforcement of a new set of sanctions against Iran is essential for international security.”

A senior administration official said Tuesday in previewing Wednesday’s state visit to Washington by Mexican President Felipe Calderón that Obama would address the Iran issue in his discussions with the Mexican leader.

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