Expressing deep concern about Iran's lack of compliance with its previous resolutions on ensuring the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme, the Security Council imposed additional sanctions on the country today, expanding an arms embargo and tightening restrictions on financial and shipping enterprises related to "proliferation-sensitive activities".
Adopting resolution 1929 (2010) by a vote of 12 in favour to 2 against (Brazil, Turkey), with 1 abstention (Lebanon), the Council also requested the Secretary-General to create a panel of experts to monitor implementation of the sanctions. Annexed to the text containing the fourth round of sanctions imposed on Iran were measures directed against 41 new named entities and individuals, including one scientist and enterprises linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard and the defence industry, as well as banks and the national shipping line.
By other terms of the resolution, the Council decided that Iran should not acquire interests in any commercial activity relating to uranium enrichment and other nuclear materials or technology in other States, and that all States should prevent the transfer to Iran of any tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large-calibre artillery systems, attack helicopters, or missiles and related systems or parts. It also called upon all States to report to the relevant Sanctions Committee, within 60 days, on the steps they had taken to implement the necessary measures.
Emphasizing the importance of diplomatic efforts to find a negotiated solution guaranteeing the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme, the Council noted in that regard the efforts by Turkey and Brazil for an agreement on the Tehran Research Reactor, which "could serve as a confidence-building measure". It also stressed the willingness of the so-called E3+3 - China, France, Germany, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States - to further enhance diplomatic efforts to promote dialogue and consultations towards a negotiated solution.
The Council affirmed that it would suspend the sanctions if, and so long as, Iran suspended all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, as verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to allow for good-faith negotiations. It also affirmed its determination to apply further measures if Iran continued to defy the just-adopted text as well as previous resolutions.
Speaking before the vote, the representatives of Brazil and Turkey said they had voted against the text because it ran against their efforts to bring about a negotiated solution through the agreement on the Tehran Research Reactor and the related Tehran Declaration of 17 May, which provided a new opportunity for diplomacy.
Following the vote, Lebanon's representative said Iran had a right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy as well as an obligation to adhere to the safeguards regime, adding that the fuel swap deal it had negotiated with Brazil and Turkey provided a way towards a resolution of the problems that had arisen. The sanctions regime, on the other hand, represented a painful failure of diplomatic efforts, he added.
Speaking on behalf of the Foreign Ministers of the E3+3 countries, the representative of the United Kingdom said today's action affirmed both the international community's concern about Iran's nuclear programme and the need for the country to comply with the requirements of the Security Council and the IAEA Board of Governors, while also keeping the door open for continued engagement between the E3+3 and Iran. The Ministers welcomed and commended all diplomatic efforts in that regard, especially those recently made by Brazil and Turkey on the specific issue of the Tehran Research Reactor. "We expect Iran to demonstrate a pragmatic attitude and to respond positively to our openness towards dialogue and negotiations," he said.
Iran's representative, however, placed the resolution within the context of pressures exerted on his country over many decades by some of the same Powers supporting today's resolution. Those pressures included suits to prevent Iran's nationalization of its own oil, and the military coup that had reinstalled the Shah. The clear message was that no one should be allowed to endanger the vital interests of the capitalist world, he said.
Iran was more powerful today and would not bow to such pressures, he asserted, emphasizing his country's right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, and stressing that it had carried out "robust" cooperation with IAEA. The Council was showing its political biases by its reaction to the deal on the Tehran Research Reactor, and its lack of action on Israeli violations of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the threats made against Iran by that country and the United States, he said.
In their national statements, Council members and E3+3 countries all paid tribute to the efforts of Turkey and Brazil, which had resulted in the Tehran Declaration, but noted that the agreement did not deal with core issues such as compliance with IAEA, uranium enrichment in defiance of the Council and the revelation of the previously undeclared facility at Qom.
Also speaking today were the representatives of the United States, France, Uganda, Russian Federation, Japan, Austria, China, Nigeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Mexico.
The meeting began at 11:15 a.m. and ended at 12:59 p.m.
Meeting this morning to consider the question of non-proliferation, the Security Council was expected to take action on a draft resolution (document S/2010/283) co-sponsored by France, Germany, United Kingdom and the United States.