Press Conference by U.N. Security Council President Vitaly Churkin of Russia on Resolution 1803 Imposing Sanctions on Iran (Excerpts)

UN Department of Public Information-News Media Division
March 4, 2008

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Country: 

  • Russia

. . .

In response to correspondents' questions about yesterday's adoption of resolution 1803 (2008) on Iran, he said, speaking in his national capacity, that yesterday actually two documents had been adopted. One was the resolution, the other was the statement agreed to by the foreign ministers of six countries: China, France, Germany, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States. The dual-track approach -- Council support for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the one hand, and negotiations by the Permanent Five plus Germany on the other -- was of vital importance to his country. The resolution was a very measured one, adopted because Iran had not given in to demands for suspension of enrichment activities. The other half of the package was the ministerial statement that dealt with Iran in a respectful way and re-emphasized all its rights as a member of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

The statement contained many incentives for Iran, and represented a new reality, since the Russian Federation and the United States had participated in negotiations, he said. One of the incentives was an opportunity for Iran to overcome differences with the United States. The fact that his country had supplied fuel for the Busher nuclear power plant, which was now supported by the United States, meant that Iran did not have to worry about a supply of enriched uranium for years. That ensured Iran's ability to develop its nuclear programme. It was also a message to the six countries that they must pursue those things that they had mentioned in their statement.

Mr. Churkin emphasized that nobody had said one single word about the use of force during any Council meeting on the subject. All three resolutions on the issue had been adopted under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. That Article addressed exclusively economic measures. Resolution 1803 (2008) contained a clause that, should Iran fail to comply with the resolution, the Council would consider other measures, again under Article 41. There was no indication at all that any member of the Council was willing to accept the use of force. The resolution also had a clause supporting the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.

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