UN Security Council slaps new sanctions on Iran

March 4th, 2008 - 4:17 am ICT by admin  

New York, March 4 (DPA) The UN Security Council has voted to impose additional sanctions on Iran for its continued refusal to abandon nuclear activities. The 15-nation council voted Monday 14-0, with Indonesia abstaining, to expand the ban on travel by individuals “engaged in, associated with providing support for Iran’s proliferation of sensitive nuclear activities or for the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems”.

The council’s five permanent members - the US, Russia, China, France and Britain - voted for the sanctions as well as Libya and South Africa, which have abandoned their nuclear ambitions.

The resolution said any activities that would provide Iran with goods, equipment, materials and technology for its nuclear programme, some of which was prohibited by the council since 2006 and under an enlarged set of sanctions in 2007, would be prohibited.

Monday’s additional sanctions were contained in a resolution, the third since 2006. The resolutions in 2006 and 2007 have failed to prevent Iran from obtaining advanced and faster centrifuges to perfect its uranium enrichment programmes, and there was no guarantee that the third resolution would bring the results wanted by the world’s most powerful and nuclear states.

US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said the council had to act because Iran has continued and deepened its uranium enrichment activities. He said Iran has “expanded tremendously” its activities and tested the enrichment with nuclear fuel, raising concerns over its ultimate intentions.

Khalilzad said Iran was seeking designs for a nuclear warhead and its miniaturization to fit on a nuclear missile “all in violation of the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty”.

“So long as the Iranian government continues to be secretive about its nuclear activities … we must inevitably conclude that Iran is hiding its weapon work, and thereby preserving or establishing options for nuclear weapon programme,” Khalilzad said.

A list of 13 individuals was added to names cited by the council in the two previous resolutions. The council said those individuals are engaged in activities from engineering of centrifuges and management of the Natanz enrichment complex to operating uranium mine.

The resolution called on UN members to exercise “vigilance and restraint” regarding the transit through their territories of individuals whose names are in the three resolutions.

The resolution said all states should take the necessary measures to prevent the supply, sale or transfer directly or indirectly from their territories of nuclear technology that would be of benefit to the Iranians.

It called on all member states to prevent entering into “new commitments” on financial support for trade with Iran, including the granting of export credits, guarantees or insurance, which can contribute to the proliferation of sensitive nuclear activities, or the development of nuclear weapon delivery system.

States were also called to monitor activities of financial institutions in their territories whether they are connected with Iran’s Bank Melli and Bank Saderat.

The resolution called on the member states to advise their national legal authorities to inspect cargoes to and from Iran, of aircraft and vessels at airports and seaports owned or operated by Iran Air Cargo and the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line if they are suspected of transporting nuclear items banned by the council.

All states were asked to report within 60 days whether they have carried out the sanctions.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna was asked to submit a report within 90 days “on whether Iran has established full and sustained suspension of all activities” related to its nuclear programmes.

The resolutions in 2006 and 2007 also asked the IAEA to report on whether Iran had suspended its nuclear activities. The IAEA reported in the negative.

The resolution adopted by the council invoked Article 41 of Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which allows the UN council to seek economic sanctions without relying on the use of force to implement a resolution. Chapter 7 usually has been invoked to establish peacekeeping operations in situations that require use of military force.

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