- The Washington Times - Friday, December 22, 2006

NEW YORK (AP) — European nations late yesterday circulated a new version of a U.N. resolution that would impose sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program — a final effort to win Russian support before the Security Council votes today.

“This is it,” Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said after presenting the final draft to council members at a closed meeting.

Council diplomats said they had cleared up ambiguities in the text and eliminated mention of some exemptions to the sanctions.

“Actually, this is a very nice step forward,” Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for Russia’s U.N. Mission, told reporters after the meeting.

Council members said they needed to send the new text to their governments to study before voting. The votes of Russia, China and Qatar were still in question.

“I think that in a way they tried to build consensus,” China’s U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya said, “but we will have to see by tomorrow morning whether consensus is there.”

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that Security Council sanctions would not stop Iran from pursuing uranium enrichment, a technology that can produce nuclear fuel for civilian purposes or for a nuclear bomb.

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