U.S. reaches deal on Iranian sanctions

The U.S. has agreed to sanctions against Iran proposed by the U.N. Security Council for their nuclear pursuits. 

One senior administration official said the sanctions will "have an immediate chilling effect" on Iran's nuclear ambitions.

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice was set to unveil the proposal, agreed to by skeptical council member nations Russia and China, at the United Nations Tuesday afternoon, just one day after Iran and Turkey announced a deal that some thought might derail U.S. efforts to win sanctions against Iran.

Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPennsylvania GOP authorizes subpoenas in election probe We must mount an all-country response to help our Afghan allies Biden nominates ex-State Department official as Export-Import Bank leader MORE announced the deal Tuesday morning before the start of a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

ADVERTISEMENT
The new sanctions, if agreed to by the full council, are similar to those the U.N. imposed on North Korea last year, but in many ways exceed what Rice then called the toughest sanctions regime on record, an administration official said.

While the official warned that the review process by the council would not be a short one, another White House official said President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal Business coalition aims to provide jobs to Afghan refugees MORE's goal of implementing sanctions this spring is still operable.

Even as one senior administration official warned that the proposal is "stronger, more comprehensive than any prior Iran resolution," the proposal is not a silver bullet that will immediately halt Iran's nuclear ambitions, the official said.

"This is part of a process, and it is not an end in itself," the official said on a conference call Tuesday morning.

The new sanctions, the official said, would add a range of pressure "focused on Iran’s nuclear proliferation activities and includes provisions to deal with Iran’s nuclear investment abroad, conventional arms, ballistic missiles, cargo inspections, proliferation-related financial transactions, banking and the IRGC."

The official spoke on background so as not to interfere with Rice's introduction of the resolution Tuesday afternoon.

ADVERTISEMENT
The official also said that "intense" negotiations with Russia and China, the two most skeptical members of the U.N. Security Council with veto power, "send a very clear message to Tehran" by improving on existing sanctions by "giving them additional teeth."

On Monday, Iran, Turkey and Brazil announced a vaguely outlined deal that would include Iran shipping about half of its uranium to Turkey for enrichment.

The White House was immediately skeptical of the deal, which appeared at first to be a threat to whatever progress the United States had made at the United Nations.

White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters on Air Force One Tuesday that Clinton viewed Turkey and Brazil's efforts as acts of "good faith," but the administration viewed the proposed deal as an effort by Iran to avoid sanctions.

"Ultimately our goal here is to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon," Burton said. "We weren’t surprised, I don’t think anybody who follows this issue was surprised, to see that Iran was doing something that could help forestall sanctions against them."

The official said the goals of the resolution are first "to increase the cost to Iran and its leadership of their defiance of the international community, and secondly, to persuade them that it’s in their interest to work with the international community to resolve peacefully the concerns about their nuclear program."

"These sanctions would also have an immediate chilling effect on Iran’s ability to move forward with its nuclear and ballistic missile program and to threaten its neighbors," the official said.

The official said the U.S. is still working with member nations on annexes to the resolution "that will designate individuals and entities for travel bans and asset freezes."

The sanctions also include new restrictions on selling conventional arms to Iran.-