Iran Nuclear NewsU.N. gives Iran deadline to end nuclear work

U.N. gives Iran deadline to end nuclear work


New York Times: The Security Council passed a resolution on Monday demanding that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment and reprocessing work by the end of August or face the possibility of sanctions. The New York Times


UNITED NATIONS, July 31 — The Security Council passed a resolution on Monday demanding that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment and reprocessing work by the end of August or face the possibility of sanctions.

The resolution is the first move by the Council on the Iranian nuclear program that is legally binding and carries the threat of sanctions. It is not as strong as a measure sought by the United States and some European nations, which would have made sanctions a more immediate consequence of Iranian noncompliance. Russia and China had had reservations about passing such a resolution.

The vote was 14 to 1, with Qatar, the Arab representative on the Council, dissenting.

Javad Zarif, the Iranian ambassador, said that the Security Council was acting illegally and that the vote had no international credibility.

“Iran’s peaceful nuclear program poses no threat to international peace and security, and therefore dealing with this issue in the Security Council is unwarranted and void of any legal basis or practical utility,” he said after the vote.

He mocked the ambassadors for not acting forcefully in the current war in Lebanon, saying: “You be the judge of how much credibility this leaves for the Security Council. Millions of people around the world have already passed their judgment.”

The resolution calls for “full and sustained suspension” of nuclear activities, including research and development, by Aug. 31, to be verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear monitoring group.

It also calls upon all countries to prevent the shipment to Iran of any materials that could be used in its enrichment-related activities or ballistic-missile programs.

“This is the first U.N.S.C. resolution on Iran in response to its nuclear weapons program, reflecting the gravity of this situation and the unity and determination of the Council,” said John R. Bolton, the United States ambassador. “We hope this resolution will demonstrate to Iran that the best way to end its international isolation is to simply give up the pursuit of nuclear weapons.”

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in a briefing during her flight back from the Middle East, said, “I want to be very clear that it doesn’t close the door to diplomacy.’’ She noted that Iran still had an offer of incentives if it suspended its nuclear program, but added, “We’ve said repeatedly that if Iran was unwilling to make the choice to move on the path toward cooperation, then the Security Council would have to act.’’

Nassir Al-Nassar, the Qatari ambassador, said he voted no out of concern for the stability of the region while war continued in Lebanon. “We do not agree with the resolution at a time when our region is in flames,” he said.

Iran contends that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but the United States and its European allies argue that its intention is to make nuclear weapons.

The final text of the resolution, worked out after objections from China and Russia, noted the need for “further decisions” before any punishments for noncompliance could be pursued. Those measures may include economic, travel and communication sanctions but not military force.

Vitaly I. Churkin, the Russian ambassador, stressed this aspect of the resolution, saying that it should be viewed as an interim step and that all the Council members had decided was to consider further action.

Mr. Bolton, however, emphasized the punitive aspects of the resolution, saying that if Iran did not comply with the Council’s demands, “we will be back here in a month looking at a sanctions resolution.”

Ms. Rice, asked what sanctions might be considered, said they would depend on Iran’s response. “We aren’t at this point trying to put together a resolution for that time,’’ she said. “I think we wanted to get this one passed and then to work to try and see if the Iranians wish to reverse course.’’

Senate Panel Delays Vote

WASHINGTON, July 31 (Reuters) — At the urging of Democrats, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has put off a vote until September on whether to keep John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations, committee aides said Monday.

Democrats want to use that time to press the White House for documents they had sought last year during the dispute over Mr. Bolton’s nomination as the envoy.

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