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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 March 2007, 03:38 GMT 04:38 UK
UN backs fresh sanctions on Iran
Arak heavy water production facility
Iran insists its nuclear programme is purely peaceful
The UN Security Council has unanimously voted in favour of new sanctions against Iran for its refusal to suspend its nuclear enrichment programme.

The decision broadens the limited sanctions imposed in December 2006.

The new sanctions block Iranian arms exports and freeze the assets of individuals and companies involved in Iran's nuclear and missile programmes.

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said "pressure and intimidation" would not change Tehran's policy.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is purely peaceful in purpose.

"Iran does not seek confrontation nor does it want anything beyond its inalienable rights," Mr Mottaki told the Security Council after the vote.

"I can assure you that pressure and intimidation will not change Iranian policy."


He said that suspension was "neither an option or a solution".

"The Security Council's decision to try to coerce Iran into suspension of its peaceful nuclear programme is a gross violation" of the UN Charter.

The BBC's Laura Trevelyan at the UN said that the fact that the sanctions received unanimous backing was significant since it sent a message to Iran that it was being strongly censured over its nuclear plans.

We call upon Iran once again to comply fully with all its international obligations
Emyr Jones Parry, British UN ambassador

British ambassador to the UN Emyr Jones Parry said "the unanimous adoption of Security Council Resolution 1747 reflects the international community's profound concerns over Iran's nuclear programmes".

"We deplore Iran's failure to comply with the earlier resolutions of the Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency and we call upon Iran once again to comply fully with all its international obligations," he said in a statement on behalf of the Council.

The six countries which drafted the resolution - the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany - spent Friday overcoming objections to some of the wording of the text from current Council members South Africa, Qatar and Indonesia.

"This resolution sends an unambiguous signal to the government and people of Iran... that the path of nuclear proliferation by Iran is not one that the international community can accept," Mr Jones Parry said after the vote.

Many countries, while supporting the resolution against Iran, warned of serious consequences given the already volatile situation in the region.

Iran has 60 days to comply with the resolution and suspend the uranium enrichment programme.

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had said that he wanted to join the Security Council session in order to address members before they voted on the new sanctions.

However, he did not attend because, Iranian officials said, the US delayed issuing visas. The US say the visas were issued and the Iranian leader was looking for an excuse not to come.

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