S. Africa protests ‘rush’ on sanctions against Iran

;UNITED NATIONS (AP) – South Africa on Tuesday protested a “rush” by the five veto-wielding Security Council members to adopt new United Nations sanctions against Iran, saying it wants to wait for a report from the U.N. nuclear agency later this month.

The five permanent Security Council members – the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France – had circulated the text of the proposed resolution Friday night to South Africa and the nine other elected council members, who serve two-year terms.

It includes the same proposed sanctions first reported by The Associated Press on Jan. 25. They include bans on travel and equipment that can be used in civilian and nuclear programs, stepped-up monitoring of Iran’s financial institutions and inspection of air and sea cargo heading to or from Iran.

South Africa’s U.N. Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo told reporters the International Atomic Energy Agency will issue a new report on Iran’s nuclear activities by Feb. 20th.

“Why are we rushing? Can’t we wait for it?” he asked. “We just want to be sure that the council has all the information that it requires before it acts, but the timing is very important.”