China and Russia May Accept Symbolic Sanctions

As the West is continuing to ratchet up pressure on Tehran over Iran’s nuclear program, it has been working to get the support of UN veto-wielding countries Russia and China. Now, there are some signs that those two countries may—at least symbolically—go along with sanctions.

Leaders from the United States, Britain, France and Germany have been debating targeted sanctions, while Russia and China have maintained hesitancy on sanctions. Now, Western nations are stepping up efforts to get Russia and China on board.

“It’s time to start haggling with the Russians and Chinese so we can get a sanctions text to the Security Council in the near future,” one Western diplomat was reported as saying. “We believe we can get their support, though it will come at a price.”
Tehran has already been targeted with three rounds of U.N. sanctions including, travel bans on certain officials and asset freezes aimed at individuals and companies involved in its nuclear and missile programs.
Iran, for its part, has proposed an alternative plan to the UN backed proposal originally offered last October, which Iran did not accept. Western countries, however, do not see Iran’s plan as feasible and have rejected it.

The sanctions debate has heated up as the International Atomic Energy Agency came out last week with a report showing signs that the Islamic Republic may be actively pursuing a nuclear weapons capability—a claim that Tehran denies.

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