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US ready to submit sanctions resolution quickly over Iran’s nuclear defiance

US ready to submit sanctions resolution quickly over Iran's nuclear defianceAgence France Presse, United Nations, Aug 22 – US Ambassador John Bolton said here Tuesday that Washington would submit a draft resolution in the Security Council quickly mandating economic sanctions against Iran if it fails to halt its uranium enrichment activities.

The US envoy to the United Nations made the remarks as Iran delivered its response Tuesday to a deal aimed at ending a nuclear standoff.

"We will obviously study the Iranian response carefully, but we are also prepared, if it does not meet the terms set (by six major powers), to proceed here in the Security Council … with economic sanctions," Bolton told reporters.

"I think we will be prepared to submit elements of a resolution in the council very quickly," he said.

Details on the Iranian response were not immediately available, but Tehran has already signalled it was likely to defy the international community and refuse to freeze sensitive atomic work.

Top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani delivered Tehran’s written response shortly after 1315 GMT to representatives of the five permanent Security Council members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — plus Germany.

The six powers last June offered a package of economic and political incentives in exchange for a freeze of Iran’s uranium enrichment, which can be used to make the fuel for nuclear power stations or which, in extended form, can produce the fissile core of atomic warheads.

"The rhetoric, particularly in the past few days, has indicated they (Iranians) are not prepared to suspend their uranium enrichment activities, but we have consistently said for two and a half months that we would not rise to the rhetoric, we would wait for the definitive response," Bolton said.

Tehran insists it has the right to conduct uranium enrichment under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty it signed, and it denied Western charges that it is conducting a covert nuclear weapons program.