Friday, June 11, 2010
The United Nations Security Council has passed Resolution 1929 imposing a fourth round of sanctions against Iran over its alleged nuclear program.
The Security Council voted 13 to 2 to impose new sanctions on Iran unless it reveals more details of its nuclear programme. Brazil and Turkey voted against the resolution, while Lebanon abstained.
The sanctions do not include major blockades, but do include measures against Iranian banks abroad, a cargo inspection regime, and provisions that all countries shall prevent the supply, sale or transfer to Iran of battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles, or missile systems.
President Obama praised the Security Council vote and said, "This resolution will put in place the toughest sanctions ever faced by the Iranian government, and it sends an unmistakable message about the international community’s commitment to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons".
Brazil and Turkey criticised the sanctions, saying they could undermine further diplomatic efforts. They had previously offered to mediate the dispute, an offer which was accepted by Iran. Iran recently reached a deal with them to ship most of its enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for low-level nuclear fuel to run a medical reactor.
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva: "Sadly, this time it was Iran who wanted to negotiate, and those who didn’t want to negotiate were those who think that force resolves everything. I think that taking this decision was a mistake. I think the Security Council threw out a historic opportunity to negotiate calmly on Iran’s nuclear program and also to discuss in a deeper way the deactivation in countries with nuclear bombs."
Iran responded to the UN vote by threatening to reduce its ties to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and to continue its uranium enrichment program. Iran’s ambassador to the the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said "No matter how many resolutions are passed, Islamic Republic of Iran will not stop its enrichment activities, which is in full accordance with its right under the statute of IAEA and Non-Proliferation Treaty".
== Sources ==
"Citing Iran’s failure to clarify nuclear ambitions, UN imposes additional sanctions" — UN News Centre, June 9, 2010
"UN votes for new sanctions on Iran over nuclear issue" — BBC Online News, June 9, 2010
"Iran defiant after toughest UN sanctions" — Times Online, June 9, 2010