UN Security Council demands that Iran suspend nuclear activities

More developments regarding Iranian nuclear activities occurred in the UN Security Council today.

31 July 2006 - Saying that Iran has not taken required steps to assure the world it is not developing nuclear arms, the United Nations Security Council today demanded a suspension of the country's nuclear enrichment and reprocessing activities, threatening sanctions for non-compliance.

Adopted by a vote of 14 to 1, with only Qatar in opposition, the resolution was the Council's first action on the issue passed under Article 40 of Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which allows for enforcement measures.

By the resolution, the Council expressed the intention, in the event that Iran does not comply by the end of August, to "undertake appropriate measures," under the sanctions clause, "to persuade Iran to comply with this resolution," underlining, however, that sanctions could not be applied without another Council decision.

In the meantime, however, the Council called on all States to prevent the transfer to Iran of materials and technology that could be used in enrichment, reprocessing or ballistic missile programmes....

In March 2006, the IAEA referred the issue to the Security Council, which issued a statement at that time calling for a similar suspension, saying that compliance would contribute to a diplomatic, negotiated solution to the stalemate.

After Iran failed to respond to that call by the required deadline, the Council took up the issue again in May, while the body's permanent members - China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States - along with Germany, were also pursuing a diplomatic solution, offering incentives to Iran for its compliance.

Through today's resolution, the Council endorsed those efforts, seeking a "long-term, comprehensive arrangement which would allow for the development of relations and cooperation with Iran based on mutual respect and the establishment of international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programmes."

From the UN News Centre (http://www.un.org/News/)