Determined to constrain Iran's development of sensitive technologies in support of its nuclear and missile programmes, the Security Council today widened the scope of its December 2006 sanctions against Iran by banning the country's arms exports and freezing the assets and restricting the travel of additional individuals engaged in the country's proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1747 (2007), submitted by France, Germany and the United Kingdom, the Council affirmed its decision that Iran should, without further delay, suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Under a related provision, the Council requested a report within 60 days from the IAEA Director General on whether Iran had established such full and sustained suspension, as well as on the process of Iranian compliance with all other steps required by the Agency's Board of Governors and the other provisions of resolution 1737 (2006) and this resolution.
The Council also called on all States to report to the Committee set up in December to monitor implementation of the sanctions first established under resolution 1737, within 60 days of adoption of the present text, on the steps they had taken to implement the provisions that concerned them.
It also expressed its conviction that the suspension set out in resolution 1737, as well as full, verified Iranian compliance with the IAEA Board of Governor's requirements, would contribute to a diplomatic negotiated solution that guaranteed that Iran's nuclear programme was for exclusively peaceful purposes.
In that connection, the Council underlined the willingness of the international community to work positively for such a solution, and it encouraged Iran, in conforming with those provisions, to re-engage with the international community and IAEA, stressing that such engagement would be beneficial.
Welcoming the continuous affirmation of the commitment of China, France, Germany, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States, with the support of the European Union's High Representative, to a negotiated solution, the Council encouraged Iran to engage with their June 2006 proposals.
Following adoption of the resolution, the United Kingdom's representative, reading out a statement also on behalf of China, France, Germany, Russian Federation and United States, affirmed that the proposals presented in 2006 "remained on the table" and included cooperation with Iran on civil nuclear energy, legally binding guarantees on the supply of nuclear fuel and wider political security and economic cooperation. In that spirit, he proposed further talks with Iran to see if a mutually acceptable way could be found to open negotiations, affirming his commitment to a negotiated solution that would address the international community's concerns. He, meanwhile, deplored Iran's failure to comply with the earlier resolutions of the Council and IAEA, and called again on Iran to fully comply with its obligations.
Iran's rejection of the 2006 offer, the United States speaker said, had sent a "deeply troubling signal" to the international community. Nonetheless, the United States, too, was ready to resolve the issue through negotiations. The Iranian leadership's claim that the Council sought to deprive Iran of its right to peaceful nuclear energy, he said, was simply not true. Many other Governments around the world, including some represented on the Council, enjoyed national civilian nuclear energy programmes without any difficulties, demonstrating that there was no incompatibility between a country's right to a peaceful nuclear-energy programme and its non-proliferation obligations. The unanimous passage of today's resolution had sent a clear and unambiguous message to Iran that the regime's continued pursuit of a nuclear-weapon capability, in violation of its treaty obligations, as well as its obligations as a United Nations Member State, would only further isolate Iran and make it less, not more, secure.
China's representative said the purpose of the new resolution was not to punish Iran, but to urge Iran to return to the negotiations and reactivate diplomatic efforts. The relevant sanction measures should neither harm the Iranian people nor affect normal economic, trade and financial exchanges between Iran and other countries. The Council's actions should be appropriate, incremental and proportionate, and not aggravate conflict or lead to confrontation. Resolution 1747, he added, did not introduce any change to the exemption provisions provided for in resolution 1737. If Iran suspended its enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, and complied with the relevant resolutions of IAEA and the Council, the Council should suspend and even terminate the sanction measures.
Iran's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Manouchehr Mottaki, said that the Security Council was "being abused to take an unlawful, unnecessary and unjustifiable action against the peaceful nuclear programme of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which presents no threat to international peace and security and falls, therefore, outside the Council's Charter-based mandate". Pressure and intimidation would not change Iranian policy. If certain countries had pinned their hopes that repeated resolutions would "dent the resolve of the great Iranian nation", they should have no doubt that they had "once again faced catastrophic intelligence and analytical failure vis-Ã -vis the Iranian people's Islamic revolution". Even the harshest political and economic sanctions were too weak to coerce the Iranian nation to retreat from their legal and legitimate demands.
"Iran's nuclear programme is completely peaceful," he asserted. Iran had taken unprecedented steps and offered several serious proposals to allay any possible concern in that regard. There had been no doubt, from the beginning, nor should there be any for the Council, that all those "schemes of the co-sponsors of the resolution are for narrow national considerations and aimed at depriving the Iranian people of their inalienable rights, rather than emanating from any so-called proliferation concerns". In order to give that scheme a semblance of international legitimacy, its initiators had first manipulated the IAEA Board of Governors to vote against Iran. Then, they had taken advantage of their substantial economic and political power to pressure and manipulate the Security Council to adopt three unwarranted resolutions within eight months. He invited the concerned parties to "come back to the path of negotiation based on justice and truth".
Also speaking today were the representatives of Qatar, Congo, Indonesia, South Africa, France, Russian Federation, Panama, Slovakia, Belgium and Ghana.
The meeting began at 3:16 p.m. and adjourned at 5:15 p.m.