WASHINGTON – The United States supports a draft U.N. sanctions resolution against Iran even though it omits a mandatory travel ban against several Iranians involved in the country's nuclear and missile programs, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday.
Rice said she expects changes to be made in the draft before it is put to a vote at the United Nations Security Council, perhaps on Friday.
Speaking at a news conference with Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay, she offered no details of the revisions she expects.
"It's no secret we would have preferred to have this earlier had we been the lone drafter, and of course there might have been other things in it," she said of the draft circulated by Britain and France.
At the same time, she said the resolution would make clear to Iran that the "international community is not going to tolerate its defiance" of demands that it abandon its nuclear program. Iranians insist the effort is for peaceful aims, but the United States and other western countries have said the real purpose is the development of nuclear weapons.
The latest draft would order all countries to ban the supply of specified materials and technology that could contribute to Iran's nuclear and missile programs.
Prodded by MacKay on a different issue, Rice said the United States would review the status of Maher Arar, who was recently cleared by the Canadian government of any ties to terrorism.
Arar has become the best-known case of extraordinary rendition, a practice in which the U.S. government sends foreign terror suspects to third countries for interrogation.
Arar says he was shunted to Syria, and was tortured and kept in a dark cell for nearly a year.
Arar no longer is under travel restrictions in Canada, but remains on a U.S. watch list.
Rice said she had spoken earlier in the day with Michael Chertoff, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, about Arar's status. "He said he would examine it and would get back to me."-