Iran General NewsU.N. Security Council condemns bus bombing in Iran

U.N. Security Council condemns bus bombing in Iran

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Reuters: The U.N. Security Council on Thursday condemned a deadly bus bombing in Iran, granting a request made by Tehran amid a dispute with the council over its nuclear program. By Daniel Trotta

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council on Thursday condemned a deadly bus bombing in Iran, granting a request made by Tehran amid a dispute with the council over its nuclear program.

Security Council condemnations are not unusual following attacks on civilians, but Iran raised eyebrows by requesting a the council’s reaction while it was feuding over the nuclear issue. Russia said it hoped the Security Council statement could help thaw relations between Iran and the council.

A booby-trapped car blew up a bus owned by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on Wednesday, killing at least 11 people in the southeastern border town of Zahedan. Some reports put the death toll as high as 18.

The Security Council in a press statement condemned what it called a “terrorist attack,” and said nothing justified the use of “terrorist violence.”

The statement provoked a closed-door debate between the United States and Russia. As a result the statement was edited, extending condolences to the families of the victims and the Iranian people but not to the Tehran government, diplomats said.

“It was rich irony that the government that rejects Security Council authority … is now coming to the council and asking for a council statement,” said Ambassador Alejandro Wolff, the acting U.S. representative to the United Nations.

“Now we call on the government of Iran to implement its obligations under existing Security Council resolutions,” Wolff told reporters.

In December, the Security Council voted unanimously to impose sanctions on Iran in an effort to pressure Tehran into halting nuclear enrichment. Iran has not yet done so.

The United States says Iran’s program is aimed at producing nuclear weapons but Tehran insists is only for nuclear energy.

Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said it was a positive sign that Iran turned to the Security Council following the attack and hoped it might be a sign that perhaps “the Security Council and Iran are getting re-engaged.”

“I do believe that it is important that the Iranian delegation chose to turn to the Security Council in this context,” Churkin said.

“We certainly hope … it will have a positive spillover to other big issues associated with Iran,” he said.

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