Canada Supports Adoption of New Sanctions Resolution against Iran

March 3, 2008

The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement regarding the adoption of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1803 imposing additional sanctions against Iran:

"Canada fully supports the adoption of this resolution by the Security Council, which results from Iran's failure to comply with its international obligations under resolutions 1696, 1737 and 1747-namely, that Iran must suspend all sensitive nuclear activities, including uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing activities. Iran must also take steps to fully rebuild confidence that its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes by, among other things, implementing the Additional Protocol to its Safeguards Agreement, pursuant to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

"We are deeply concerned that Iran has failed to clarify a number of outstanding issues around its nuclear program, as noted in the February 22, 2008, report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The Agency has asked Iran to clarify remaining questions on reports that it is pursuing studies relevant to weaponization of nuclear materials. Iran must fully cooperate with the IAEA to resolve these outstanding issues in order to clearly demonstrate that its program is solely intended for peaceful purposes.

"New sanctions under Resolution 1803 include a travel ban for targeted Iranian officials, a freeze of assets of newly designated Iranian companies and officials, additional restrictions on the sale of identified dual-use items to Iran, and a call for governments to withdraw financial support for trade with Iran, to dissuade domestic financial institutions from entering into transactions that could support Iran's nuclear activities, and to inspect cargo going in and out of Iran via identified carriers. As with UNSC resolutions 1737 and 1747, Canada will ensure its full compliance with the decisions of the Security Council through Canadian domestic law.

"Canada notes that China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States have renewed their proposed package of incentives, which offers a suspension of further discussion of Iran's nuclear program by the UN Security Council in exchange for Iran's suspension of sensitive nuclear activities and implementation of the Additional Protocol. This proposal promotes a resumption of dialogue on broader political, security and economic issues. Canada strongly encourages Iran to pursue this proposal."