Only Indonesia abstained when the UNSC voted a third set of sanctions against Iran. Libya, which earlier indicated its opposition, meekly fell in line, as did South Africa.
This is the third set of increasingly tightened UNSC sanctions calling on Iran to suspend its program to enrich uranium.
Like the earlier UNSC resolutions in this series aimed at Iran’s nuclear program — particularly its right to an indigenous enrichment capability — it was adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, and is binding.
It gives Iran another 90 days to suspend its enrichment program — which will have to be confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) — or further sanctions could be imposed.
A summary of the resolution’s provisions in a UN Press Release says that “The Council welcomed the agreement between Iran and IAEA to resolve all outstanding issues concerning Iran’s nuclear programme, and progress made in that regard, as set out in the Director General’s report of 22 February 2008 (GOV/2008/4). In that context, it stressed the willingness of China, France, Germany, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States to enhance diplomatic efforts to promote resumption of dialogue with Iran, with a view to seeking long-term solution of the issue that would allow for wider cooperation and, inter alia, the start of direct talks. The Council would suspend the sanctions if and for so long as Iran would suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, as verified by IAEA, but warned that, in the event Iran did not comply with relevant Council resolutions, it would decide on the adoption of further appropriate measures under Article 41 of Chapter VII”. This press release is available here.
The Associated Press summed up the package that was easily adopted today: “For the first time, the resolution bans trade with Iran in goods which have both civilian and military uses … The measures include freezing the assets of about a dozen companies and a dozen individuals with links to Iran’s nuclear or ballistic missile programs. It would require countries to ‘exercise vigilance’ and report the travel or transit of those individuals. It would also impose a travel ban on several individuals linked to Iran’s nuclear effort. For the first time, the resolution would ban trade with Iran in goods which have both civilian and military uses. It would introduce financial monitoring on two banks with suspected links to proliferation activities, Bank Melli and Bank Saderat. It also calls on all countries ‘to exercise vigilance’ in entering into new trade commitments with Iran, and authorizes inspections of shipments to and from Iran by sea and air that are suspected of carrying prohibited goods”.
AP also reported that “Diplomats credited French President Nicolas Sarkozy for helping sway the Libyans and South Africans. The French leader visited South Africa last week”. This AP report is published here.