(Washington) US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton admitted on Saturday that he is unable to predict whether the Security Council will impose sanctions on Iran for defying a deadline on uranium enrichment, but warned that there are other measures that can be taken against the Tehran.
Speaking to MSNBC, Bolton said: “But this really is a test for the Security Council,” he added. “If we can’t deal in the council with a proliferation threat like Iran, then I think that tells us a lot about the utility of the council in the global struggle against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”
Bolton said the foreign ministers of the five permanent Council members and Germany had vowed to back imposing sanctions on Iran if it refuses to comply with the August 31 deadline set by Washington.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia is not in favor of sanctions.
Bolton accused Lavrov of contradicting himself Friday when he said sanctions are "counterproductive," saying the Russian foreign minister had promised US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other top western diplomats that Russia would back sanctions if Iran defies UN demands.
American and European diplomats are in favor of imposing soft sanctions on Iran to win the backing to avoid possible vetoes to tough sanctions by China and Russia who have robust economic ties with Tehran.
“I have a feeling that when we get down to cases and actually put a resolution on the table, we’ll find out more specifically,” Bolton said.
Bolton said Washington would weigh imposing its own sanctions on Iran and would encourage allied countries to follow suit.