US hopes for Iran sanctions vote at UN next week

WASHINGTON — The White House said Thursday it was confident the UN Security Council would back toughened sanctions on Iran in the next week, despite the furor over Israel's Gaza flotilla raid.

Some Middle East observers have warned that the outrage over the raid by America's close ally could detract from diplomatic efforts by Washington to finally pass a sanctions resolution against Iran in the Council.

But President Barack Obama's spokesman Robert Gibbs portrayed progress towards a resolution as robust and said a vote could be coming soon.

"We've seen sanctions introduced in the UN Security Council that we believe will be voted on next week and approved by the UN Security Council," he said.

Asked whether the controversy over Gaza could delay the momentum, Gibbs answered: "I think the president and the team here remain confident that ... within the next week, we'll have a number that will pass that resolution."

The United States had said on Wednesday that it hoped for a UN Security Council vote by June 21.

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