[JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] voted Wednesday to impose a fourth round of sanctions on Iran [press release] for failure to disband the nation's uranium enrichment program. Twelve member countries voted in favor of resolution 1929 [text, PDF], with Brazil and Turkey voting against and Lebanon abstaining. The council has asked Iran to cease its enrichment procedures and resolve international concerns over its nuclear program. The council stated that Iran has been continually uncooperative with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) [official website], and that the development of the country's nuclear program poses a serious proliferation risk. The UN outlined the new sanction imposed by the resolution:
[R]esolution 1929…builds on previous sanctions by deciding that Iran shall not acquire an interest in any commercial activity in another State involving uranium mining, production or use of nuclear materials and technology. The Council also decided that all States shall prevent the supply, sale or transfer to Iran of battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems. It also asks States to take all necessary measures to prevent the transfer to Iran of technology or technical assistance related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. In addition, the resolution contains provisions to help block Iran’s use of the international financial system, particularly its banks when they may be used to fund proliferation and nuclear activities.
Iran has repeatedly claimed that its nuclear program was developed for peaceful purposes, but several members of the international community contend that Iran's enrichment program was designed for military purposes, which is in direct violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [UN backgrounder]. US President Barack Obama [official website] praised [transcript] the Security Council's decision stating that "actions do have consequences and today the Iranian government will face some of those consequences." Obama closed his statement by saying that even though Iran is facing additional sanctions, the US will not "close the door on diplomacy" between the two nations.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] on Saturday strongly criticized new attempts to impose UN sanctions on his country's nuclear program. Ahmadinejad was in Uganda meeting with President Yoweri Museveni when he made the comments. The Iranian leader said that actions being taken by the US and its allies in the Security Council are illegal and that his country will not accept any pressure. He also said that any evidence submitted by the US and Britain for new UN sanctions amounted to "lies" similar to the claims made over nuclear weapons in Iraq which served as an impetus to the 2003 war. In December 2006, the UN Security Council imposed sanctions [JURIST report] on Iran for continuing to enrich uranium and broadened them [JURIST report] three months later. The UN had previously ordered Iran to stop expanding [JURIST report] its nuclear program by August 31, 2006. Iran has said it will completely withdraw [JURIST report] from the IAEA if its "nuclear rights" are taken away.