The unanimous adoption by the UN Security Council on 23 December 2006 of a firm resolution imposing sanctions on Iran's nuclear and missile programs underscores the international community's commitment to addressing concerns about Iran's nuclear activities.
The adoption of resolution 1737 follows Iran's failure to comply with Security Council Resolution 1696 which made mandatory the suspension of all Iran's uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities.
Australia will now be proceeding to implement the terms of the resolution. These include a ban on the provision of assistance and the sale, transfer or procurement of certain military and dual-use items related to Iran's uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities, and ballistic missile program. Resolution 1737 also places measures in relation to travel and an assets freeze on persons or entities designated by the Security Council as providing support to proliferation sensitive nuclear activities and the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems.
All UN member states are obliged to implement the sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council. At the same time, all sanctions contained in resolution 1737 are reversible should Iran suspend its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities.
Australia fully endorses the Security Council conviction that Iran's suspension of all uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities as well as full, verified compliance with the requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors will contribute to a diplomatic, negotiated solution.
As I have said previously, this is not a case of questioning Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy. Australia supports the right of all parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that comply faithfully with their non-proliferation commitments to peaceful nuclear energy.
The onus is now on Iran as a responsible member of the United Nations to abide by all Security Council decisions and cooperate fully with the IAEA to prove without doubt that its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes.