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Security Council receives additional reports on Iran sanctions

Security Council receives additional reports on Iran sanctions

The chairman of the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions imposed against Iran said today that additional countries have reported on their implementation of these measures.

In an open Council meeting, Belgian Ambassador Johan C. Verbeke, the panel’s chairperson, said that it has received two documents from Member States – one each under resolutions 1737 and 1747 – since 19 December last year.

This brings “the total number of reports under resolution 1737 to 88 and the total number of reports under resolution 1747 to 72,” he noted.

Adopted in December 2006, resolution 1737 banned trade with Iran in all items, materials, equipment, goods and technology which could contribute to the country’s enrichment-related, reprocessing or heavy water-related activities, or to the development of nuclear-weapon delivery systems.

Resolution 1747 from last March further tightened the sanctions by imposing a ban on arms sales and expanding the freeze on assets.

Earlier this month, the Council imposed further sanctions against Iran, including the inspection of cargo suspected of carrying prohibited goods, the tighter monitoring of financial institutions and the extension of travel bans and asset freezes, over its nuclear programme.

Iranian authorities have stated that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes, but some other countries contend that it is driven by military ambitions. It has been a matter of international concern since the discovery in 2003 that Iran had concealed its nuclear activities for 18 years in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Also speaking at today’s Council meeting, United States Ambassador Alejandro Wolff noted that many nations have yet to turn in reports to the 15-member body.

“We urge all States that have not yet submitted implementation reports to this committee to do so as soon as possible,” he said.

Mr. Wolff said that the most recent report on Iran by Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as well as the agency’s 25 February technical report and its Board of Governors meeting earlier this month, presented “troubling indications” of the country’s weaponization efforts.

“The international community has good reason to be concerned about Iran’s activities to acquire a nuclear weapons capability. At stake is the security of a vital region of the world and the credibility of the Security Council and the IAEA,” he said, adding that the US seeks to resolve the issue diplomatically.

After the new resolution imposing additional sanctions was passed earlier this month, Security Council President for the month, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, said that the body will not support the use of force to deal with the issue of Iran’s nuclear programme.

Resolution 1803 was needed because the country had not complied with previous demands by the body and insisted on continuing with its enrichment activity, but at the same time, he stressed that all the resolutions make clear that “there is no indication at all of any willingness of the Security Council in any form to sanction or approve or condone the use of force against Tehran in order to deal with the Iranian nuclear issue,” he told reporters on 4 March.