UNITED NATIONS, March 20 (UPI) -- A South African effort to soften proposed tougher U.N. sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program may delay the restrictions.
South Africa has asked the U.N. Security Council to reopen talks on sanctions against Iran, Voice of America reported.
The sanctions, which had been agreed to by the permanent members of the Security Council, include a ban on Iranian arms exports and an expansion of the list of people and businesses whose assets would be frozen until Iran halts processing of radioactive materials.
Voice of America reported a list of South African proposals would trim the list of entities with frozen assets to exclude the Iranian bank Sepah and several Iranian Revolutionary Guard-run defense firms. It would also include a 90-day "time-out" with no sanctions if Iran halted uranium enrichment.
Voice of America said permanent Security Council members were cool to the proposal. Dumisani Kumalo, South Africa's ambassador to the United Nations, defended it, saying voting members of the council have a right to request changes.
"Why do you guys want to treat this resolution as if it's written by God or has the wisdom of God in it?" he asked, Voice of America reported.