Page last updated at 04:14 GMT, Sunday, 28 September 2008 05:14 UK

UN approves new Iran resolution

Technicians at the Isfahan Uranium Conversion Facilities  (8 August 2005)
Iran maintains that the purposes of its nuclear programme are peaceful

The UN Security Council has unanimously passed a new resolution on Iran, reaffirming demands it stop enriching uranium, but imposing no new sanctions.

The text calls on Iran to "comply, and without delay, with its obligations" under past resolutions and co-operate with the UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA.

Iran dismissed the move and said it would not stop enriching uranium, which it says is for peaceful purposes.

Western nations suspect Iran wants to build a nuclear weapons capability.

The draft was agreed after Russia said it would not support further sanctions.

But Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, said the new resolution would cause "mistrust" and would not help global peace and security.

"These [resolutions] are not constructive," he told Iranian television. "What they need to do is to attract the trust of the Iranian nation through constructive co-operation and collective commitment."

On Wednesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned it would resist "bullying powers" trying to thwart its nuclear ambitions.

'Comply without delay'

The UN Security Council has already imposed three packages of sanctions against Iran for defying its calls to halt uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing and refusing to answer questions from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

[The resolution] shows that the world community is united on this issue, that Iran must co-operate
Zalmay Khalilzad, US Permanent Representative to the UN

In a report last week, the agency said that without further information, it would not be able to provide assurances about Iran's nuclear programme to the international community.

Resolution 1835 therefore called on Iran to "comply fully and without delay" with previous Security Council resolutions and meet the requirements of the IAEA.

It also reaffirmed the Security Council's "commitment to an early negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear issue" and welcomed the "dual-track approach" by its five permanent members along with Germany.

The draft resolution was put forward after a surprise foreign ministers' meeting in New York on Friday, and talks between Russia and the US.

The US Permanent Representative to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, said the resolution would send a message to Iran that the sextet stood together, despite his country's disagreement with Russia over last month's conflict in Georgia.

"It shows that the world community is united on this issue, that Iran must co-operate," he told reporters in New York.

'Face-saving document'

The BBC's Bridget Kendall at the UN in New York says this brief resolution is a compromise document, which was drafted after Russia made clear it would not contemplate anything harsher.

So instead of a resolution that would have imposed new and tougher sanctions, this is simply a restatement of previous resolutions, our correspondent says.

But there is tellingly no "or else" clause to suggest that non-compliance could lead to further penalties, she adds.

Russia's UN representative, Vitaly Churkin, claimed the resolution had been his country's idea and was aimed at focusing minds on political, rather than military solutions.

Earlier in the week Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pulled out of high-level talks on Iran's nuclear programme, declaring the time was not right to impose more sanctions.

Our correspondent says it appears that the US and European powers then scrambled to find a face-saving document that would paper over any disagreements.


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