Sean McCormack

QUESTION: Mr. McCormack, change of subject please to Iran.


QUESTION: Are we basically in a holding pattern with Iran until the UNGA starts or is there actual movement happening today or over the past 24 hours?

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, we're continuing to talk between capitals, among capitals about what would be in a Security Council resolution. I think the EU-3 and the EU are going to be talking about that or they were supposed to be talking about that today, gathering together their position on the matter, what particular sanctions would be contained in a resolution. And the Secretary's going to also have meetings up in New York on the issue. They're going to get together at the ministerial level like she talked about yesterday. I would expect in advance of that that you have Nick Burns doing his consultations with his counterparts. So it is moving forward.

QUESTION: Were there conference calls yesterday or today?

MR. MCCORMACK: Nothing yesterday or today, no.

QUESTION: And do you have any reaction to Ahmadi-Nejad's comments from Senegal that -- to the effect that they are open to solving this through negotiations and ready for "new conditions?"

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, I'm not sure what that means. But certainly if they're open to negotiations, there's a clear pathway -- meet the international conditions. The pathway to negotiation is open, it's clear, couldn't be simpler in terms of what the Iranians need to do.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

MR. MCCORMACK: Barry, you'd have to --

QUESTION: I mean, we've heard these things so many times.

MR. MCCORMACK: Right. Look, you will have to ask the Iranian leadership what is in their --

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

MR. MCCORMACK: Yeah, that's right. If you happen to have a chance to ask a question up there.


QUESTION: Just that same thing. You expressed your confidence repeatedly that the P-5+1 will hang in and they follow the -- what they've already set out in the resolution. But the declarations that are coming from them, the French and the Chinese in particular again today, don't sound the same. The Chinese Premier in Berlin clearly saying it's not time for sanctions and that they'll have the opposite effect of helping the thing; and the French Foreign Minister saying that one or two of the Permanent Members of the Security Council, if they fail to uphold the dialog and press too hard, that that's going to make the whole thing fall apart. How can you hold -- how can you maintain your sense of confidence in that in the face of --

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, we have an agreement. We have an agreement that includes the -- all of those countries in the P-5+1. It's very clear. The Secretary talked about it from London to Paris to Vienna to New York. It was -- this approach has been reaffirmed and confirmed and everybody understood what they were signing up to when they voted 15 to 0 for that resolution. And we would expect that the Security Council would follow through on doing what it said it was going to do, which means passing a Chapter 7, Article 41 resolution that includes sanctions on Iran and that the P-5+1 would follow through on the agreement that it reached in Paris, which had at its core essentially the same thing, if the Iranians don't meet certain conditions, the conditions that were laid out by the IAEA, then sanctions would follow. And it has come time for the international community to act, to follow through.

We -- as I have said multiple times before, this isn't our first choice. It isn't our first choice to go down the pathway of sanctions, but this is the pathway that the Iranian leadership is leading the world and the Iranian people down. They are leading them down the pathway -- all of us down the pathway of greater isolation for Iran, increased diplomatic pressure on Iran and sanctions.

That is where we find ourselves right now, and make no mistake about it, the reason why we find ourselves in this position is the failure of the Iranian leadership to act and meet the very simple conditions that have been laid out for them by the rest of the world.

QUESTION: You said you expect them to follow through. Are you confident that they will follow through?

MR. MCCORMACK: We are confident that they will follow through. We are confident they will follow through and that they will abide by their word.

QUESTION: What provides that confidence if you're hearing these same statements we're hearing?

MR. MCCORMACK: James, our diplomatic interactions indicate that while these will be -- this will be complex, sometimes hard-fought diplomacy that we will in fact end up with a Security Council resolution that includes sanctions, Chapter 7, Article 41 sanctions.


QUESTION: What kind of a timetable are you looking at in terms of getting this Council to impose sanctions against Iran? Nick Burns was hopeful that it would be early this month. It's the middle of September already.


QUESTION: What are you looking at realistically?

MR. MCCORMACK: Sure. In terms of predicting dates of votes on the Security Council resolutions, there have been a lot of people that have lost money placing those kind of bets. I'm not going to do that. We would expect that the Security Council would act in an expeditious manner on this matter. The reality of it is that this is going to be -- there are going to be intense negotiations on this, probably, you know, I would imagine that the process would take weeks.




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