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U.N. Unanimously Approves Iran Sanctions

Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 11:32 pm
by michael_ital
Tehran immediately rejects Security Council resolution on nuke activity

Updated: 2 hours, 46 minutes ago
UNITED NATIONS - The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Saturday to impose economic sanctions on Iran for refusing to end a uranium enrichment program that the United States says is aimed at building nuclear weapons. Iran immediately rejected the resolution.

The result of two months of negotiation, the resolution orders all countries to stop supplying Iran with materials and technology that could contribute to its nuclear and missile programs. It also would freeze Iranian assets of key companies and individuals related to those programs.

If Iran refuses to comply, the resolution warns Iran that the council will adopt further nonmilitary sanctions.

The Iranian government immediately rejected the resolution, vowing in a statement from Tehran to continue enriching uranium and saying it “has not delegated its destiny to the invalid decisions of the U.N. Security Council.”

The Bush administration said it hopes the resolution will clear the way for tougher measures by individual countries, particularly Russia.

“We don’t think this resolution is enough in itself,” Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said. “We want to let the Iranians know that there is a big cost to them,” he added, so they will return to talks.

The administration had pushed for tougher penalties. But Russia and China, which both have strong commercial ties to Tehran, and Qatar, across the Persian Gulf from Iran, balked. To get their votes, the resolution dropped penalties such as a ban on international travel by Iranian officials involved in nuclear and missile development.

The U.N. vote came just a day after talks with North Korea, already under U.N. sanctions, failed to halt that countryÂ’s atomic program.

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