UN approves Iran sanctions
Security Council unanimously imposes sanctions on Iran's trade in sensitive nuclear materials and ballistic missiles, in move aimed at getting Tehran to halt uranium enrichment work; Israeli ambassador to UN: Very important decision; Iran: Decision illegal, won't limit our nuclear activities
“Today we are placing Iran in the small category of states under Security Council sanctions,” Acting US Ambassador Alejandro Wolff told the council before the 15-0 vote.
Iran condemned the UN Security Council resolution as an illegal measure outside the council's jurisdiction.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told state-run television the resolution "cannot affect or limit Iran's peaceful nuclear activities but will discredit the decisions of the Security Council, whose power is deteriorating."
Israel's Ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman told Ynet that "this is a very important decision."
According to Gillerman, who remained at his home during the vote, "Iran is joining the exclusive club of countries under the Security Council's sanctions. Russia and China's support allows for the first time to present a united international front that tells Iran – enough."
Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who was successful in watering down parts of the resolution, emphasized that the resolution did not permit any use of force.
Security Council votes to impose sanctions on Iran (Photo: AP)
Moscow’s earlier hesitation over supporting the resolution prompted a phone call on Saturday from President George W. Bush to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had reviewed the resolution until the last minute following two months of tough negotiations. Russia is building a USD 800 million light-water reactor for Tehran that is exempted in the resolution.
'Serious message to Iran'
The resolution demands Tehran end all research on uranium enrichment, which can produce fuel for nuclear power plants as well as for bombs, and halt research and development that can make or deliver atomic weapons.
The thrust of the sanctions is a ban on imports and exports of dangerous materials and technology relating to uranium enrichment, reprocessing and heavy-water reactors, as well as ballistic missile delivery systems.
Iran has vowed to continue its nuclear program, which it says is for peaceful uses only.
On Saturday, its parliamentary speaker, Gholami Haddaddel, told state television Tehran would reconsider its relationship with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN Nuclear watchdog, if the resolution passed. He did not elaborate.
Russia’s Churkin said, “Russia views this resolution as a serious message being sent to Iran regarding the need to more openly and accurately cooperate with the IAEA to lift or resolve the remaining concerns and questions relating to the nuclear program.”
The resolution is under Chapter 7 of under Article 41 of Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which makes enforcement mandatory but restricts action to nonmilitary measures.
Yitzhak Benhorin contributed to the report