US tightens sanctions on Iran

Diplomats say they've essentially toughened up the existing Iran sanctions package, though they haven't announced just what the new measures are. Some have hinted that the text calls for further restrictions on the travel of Iranian diplomats, more financial assets could be frozen. Before the meeting, US and some European diplomats were upbeat about sending a strong message to Iran to halt its nuclear activities. China and Russia had been reluctant to levy new sanctions on Iran, they are not convinced Iran's nuclear program is malevolent. They also do a lot of business with the Iranian government. Today the Russian Foreign Minister said that Russia agreed to the next tact because it is not punitive, �We consider the agreed text to be acceptable. The measures mentioned in the new draft are not tough or filled with sanctions.� That seems to fly in the face of the US interpretation. US officials seem to think that the text contains tough new measures against Iran. Tough or not, this Iranian political scientist says they don't matter. They won't force Tehran to end its nuclear program, he says, and defying US pressure actually helps Iranian politicians gain popular support and gives them a convenient scapegoat for Iran's economic difficulties, �So on the one hand these sanctions will have very little impact on policies and on the other this government could blame the United States and its allies for some of the problems that have come about.� For example high inflation or scarcity of certain goods. In Tehran today residents appeared confident that they could withstand the latest round of international pressure. This man says, this is not the first time that the West is trying to impose sanctions on Iran, they have enforced many sanctions in the past but all of them have been ineffective, new sanctions will not be effective either. The full UN Security Council will hear about the proposed sanctions next month.

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