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UPDATED: 10:18, December 24, 2006
UN Security Council unanimously passes resolution on Iran sanctions
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The UN Security Council voted unanimously on Saturday to pass a resolution imposing sanctions against Iran over its controversial nuclear activities.

The resolution, which followed weeks of negotiations, demanded that Iran "suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development," and "work on all heavy water-related projects."

It also called on all states to impose a ban on trade with Iran in goods related to its nuclear programs and ballistic missile delivery systems.

It also demanded that "all states shall freeze the funds, other financial assets and economic resources" owned or controlled by officials and companies in the country's nuclear and missile programs.

The resolution called on all states to monitor and notify a Security Council sanctions panel of the entry or transit through their territory of Iranians involved in the country's nuclear and missile programs.

The resolution asked the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to submit a report within 60 days on Iran's compliance with the council's demands.

It warned that, if Iran refuses to comply, the council "shall adopt further appropriate measures under Article 41 of Chapter Seven" of the UN charter, which implies only economic sanctions.

In explanatory remarks following the vote, China's ambassador Wang Guangya said sanctions are not the end but a means to urge Iran to return to negotiations.

"There are also explicit provisions indicating that if Iran suspends its enrichment related and reprocessing activities, and complies with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and meets the requirement of the IAEA, the Security Council shall suspend and even terminate the sanction measures," Wang said.

U.S. Acting Ambassador Alejandro Wolff called for Iran's unconditional and immediate compliance with the resolution, warning that it would not hesitate to return to that body for further action if Iran failed to take the necessary steps to comply.

Iran's UN Ambassador Javad Zarif rejected the resolution, accusing some governments of pushing the council to take " groundless punitive measures against Iran's peaceful nuclear program," while turning a deaf ear to Israel's nuclear program.

"It is indisputable that nuclear weapons in the hands of the Israeli regime with an unparalleled record of noncompliance with Security Council resolutions ... poses a uniquely grave threat to regional and international peace and security," Zarif said.

"The same governments which have pushed this council to take groundless punitive measures against Iran's peaceful nuclear program have systematically prevented it from taking any action to nudge the Israeli regime towards submitting itself to the rules governing the nuclear nonproliferation regime," Zarif added.

The resolution was a reaction to Iran's failure to comply with an earlier text passed in late July demanding it to suspend uranium enrichment by Aug. 31.

The United States and its European allies have accused Tehran of engaging in enrichment activities which are ultimately aimed at producing nuclear weapons. Iran maintains its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

Source: Xinhua

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