The United Nations Security Council has approved a third round of sanctions on Iran because of its refusal to suspend uranium- enrichment and reprocessing activities. Enriched uranium can be used to produce the fissile material for nuclear weapons. Iran has defied two previous Security Council sanctions resolutions ordering Iran to suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities.
The new resolution was adopted by the Security Council with a fourteen to zero vote; Indonesia abstained. The resolution bans trade with Iran in so called “dual use” goods; that is, those that can be used for military as well as civilian purposes. It calls upon states to inspect cargo sent to and from Iran that is suspected of carrying prohibited equipment. It extends the list of individuals subject to travel restrictions. It calls on all states to exercise vigilance in dealing with Iranian financial institutions, in particular Bank Saderat and Bank Melli. It urges all states to exercise vigilance in entering new trade agreements with Iran.
U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey says Iran’s continued defiance of previous resolutions concerning its nuclear program made this new resolution necessary:
“This process is designed to help change the political calculations on the part of Iran’s leadership. And we certainly hope that there will be reasonable leaders in Iran that would be willing to take advantage of an offer to negotiate rather than continuing defiance, and hopefully the increased pressure that’s going to come from this resolution will lead them to that conclusion.”
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, said the new resolution helps make it clear to Iran that unless it complies with the demands of the Security Council, there will be consequences.
Ambassador Khalilzad also said that the Iranian people and others should know that the U.S. recognizes Iran’s right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. But “the international community cannot allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons,” he said. Citing Iran’s support for terrorists in Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s statements against Israel, Ambassador Khalilzad said, “The present Iranian regime armed with nuclear weapons would pose a great potential danger to the region and to the world.”