The Security Council today extended the mandate of a panel of experts established last year to monitor and enforce sanctions against Iran because of its failure to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regarding its nuclear programme.
Today’s resolution, adopted by a vote of 14 in favour with 1 abstention (Lebanon), extends the group’s mandate for one year through 9 June 2012.
The Council has imposed four rounds of sanctions on Iran since 2006, including a ban on all items which could contribute to the country’s enrichment of uranium, a necessary step for both peaceful and militaristic uses of nuclear energy, and arms sales and a freeze on assets.
Last month Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and stressed the need for Iran to continue negotiations with concerned countries over the status of its nuclear programme, and to cooperate fully with the IAEA.
Iran has repeatedly stated that its nuclear programme is for the peaceful purpose of providing energy, but many countries contend it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.
The issue has been 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).