UNITED NATIONS, July 29: The five permanent members of the United Nations’ Security Council (UNSC) have agreed on a draft resolution giving Iran until the end of August to suspend uranium enrichment.

The draft was circulated to the full 15 members of the Council and could be voted on as early as Monday.

The draft resolution is weaker than the earlier ones, which made the imposition of sanctions a more direct consequence of non-compliance by Tehran. The final text, worked out after objections from Russia and China, cites an article of the UN charter that calls for “further decisions” before any punishment measures are taken.

Russia’s envoy Vitaly Churkin said the draft did not threaten sanctions and would encourage Iran to resume dialogue.

He pointed out that the resolution contained “no hint of a threat” and was intended to accommodate Iran’s request that it be given until August 22 to respond to the June offer.

“I’m satisfied with this text,” Churkin said. The resolution, he said, “sends exactly the right message. It’s an invitation for Iran to negotiations.”

But the US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton said the Council would consider sanctions against Iran if it did not comply with the deadline.

The draft resolution was negotiated over the past two weeks by Germany and the five permanent Council members.

Russia and China have played down the resolution’s threat of sanctions and suggested they may resist US and European efforts to impose the restrictions on Tehran.

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