Following the United Nations Security Council's approval of sanction on Iran Saturday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued a statement saying: "The Iranian government, through its own actions, has further isolated itself and the Iranian people from the international community.
"This resolution is a strong signal to the government of Iran that it should accept its international obligations, suspend its sensitive nuclear activities and accept the negotiations path that the US and its Security Council partners offered six months ago," she said.
Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said: "We don't think this resolution is enough in itself. We want the international community to take further action. We're certainly not going to put all our eggs in the UN basket."
Burns said the resolution takes away a main argument against bilateral penalties by individual countries, which have told US officials that they could not do so until the UN acted. "We want to let the Iranians know that there is a big cost to them," Burns said, so they will return to talks.
UN Security Council: Unanimous (Photo: AP)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier saw the UN move as an important signal that Iran should follow its obligations and promises to the international community.
Merkel said that the unanimous nature of the resolution reinforced the importance of the move and demonstrated that the international community was prepared to come together to find a solution to the conflict surrounding Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni responded to the decision saying that the imposition of sanctions “constitutes an important decision in the struggle to prevent the nuclear armament of Iran.”
“The international community must continue to show determination in this common fight to halt Iran’s nuclear program," she noted.
Defense Minister Amir Peretz said, “This is a most important step. We must continue to pressure the international community to impose even more significant sanctions on Iran.”
Iran not fazed
Despite the unanimous United Nations Security Council vote, the Islamic nation insists on persisting with its nuclear program. The Iranian Foreign Ministry noted Saturday that uranium enrichment would not be interrupted, regardless of international sanctions.
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."
"Ratifying this resolution is an illegal measure outside the jurisdiction of the Security Council and contradicting the regulations of the United Nations charter," Hosseini said.
"Some of the members of the Security Council, especially the United States ... Do not commit themselves to the NPT and freely provide this technology and equipment to other countries and do not commit themselves to any of the articles of nuclear disarmament," he said. "On the contrary they develop their nuclear arsenals."
"This decision cannot stand against the will of the Iranian nation," the spokesman added.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that, “Today, when the Zionist entity is not willing to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty or agree to supervision by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), when the Security Council is doing nothing in response to the Zionist prime minister’s public announcement regarding the entity’s nuclear capabilities, Iran does not accept the Security Council’s discriminating treatment regarding its nuclear program.
“The Iranian people will not gable on their fate,” the statement said.
Ronny Sofer, Hanan Greenberg and news agencies contributed to the report