Iran Nuclear NewsFurther U.N. sanctions get unanimous OK

Further U.N. sanctions get unanimous OK

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Washington Times: The U.N. Security Council voted 14-0 yesterday to expand sanctions on Iran, while the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said scientists in Iran have continued to study “weaponization” of nuclear material. The Washington Times

By Betsy Pisik

NEW YORK — The U.N. Security Council voted 14-0 yesterday to expand sanctions on Iran, while the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said scientists in Iran have continued to study “weaponization” of nuclear material.

Indonesia abstained from voting on the eight-page resolution, which strengthens the U.N. embargo on equipment that could be used in an illicit nuclear program.

The measure also subjects additional Iranian officials to an international travel ban and asset freeze, and monitors the activities of two Iranian banks.

The text was drawn up under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which makes the council’s demands mandatory and binding.

The resolution marks the third time that the Security Council has sanctioned Iran over its efforts to enrich uranium, a fuel for nuclear energy and nuclear weapons.

In Vienna, Austria, the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said suspicions over Iran’s nuclear past remain.

“I urge Iran to be as active and as cooperative as possible in working with the Agency to clarify this matter of serious concern,” IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said.

“This is necessary to enable the agency to make a determination about the nature and scope of all of Iran’s past nuclear activities,” he said.

“Iran continues to maintain that these alleged weaponization studies are related to conventional weapons only or fabricated. However, a full-fledged examination of this issue has yet to take place,” he said at a meeting of the IAEA governors.

The Iranian representative to the United Nations, Mohammad Khazee, said his country is in full compliance with IAEA demands, has no interest in nuclear weapons and dismissed all charges against it as “baseless and fabricated.”

U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad urged Tehran to accept an international offer of fuel for a light water reactor and to renounce making the enriched uranium.

“Instead of slogans and obfuscations, the international community needs answers from Iran,” he said.

The Security Council resolution on Iran was drafted by the British and French and was supported by United States, Russia and China. The five nations have a veto.

Security Council officials said Libya and South Africa joined the consensus after French President Nicolas Sarkozy persuaded Libya and South African to vote for the resolution.

Indonesian Ambassador Marty Natalegawa said his government disagreed that amplifying sanctions would compel Tehran to abandon enrichment.

“Indonesia remains to be convinced of the efficacy of adopting more sanctions,” he said.

In an effort to keep diplomatic channels open, the five permanent members and Germany yesterday asked EU foreign policy adviser Javier Solana to open another round of talks with Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili.

The council also tasked the IAEA to prepare another report on outstanding issues and present it to the body in 90 days. At that point, diplomats said, members might have to incrementally tighten sanctions again.

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