U.N. officially warns Iran over nuclear program


Richard Moore

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U.N. officially warns Iran over nuclear program

Security Council OKs Aug. 31 deadline for Tehran under threat of sanctions

MSNBC News Services

Updated: 11:23 a.m. ET July 31, 2006

UNITED NATIONS - The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution Monday giving 
Iran until the end of August to suspend uranium enrichment or face the threat of
economic and diplomatic sanctions.

Iranian U.N. Ambassador Javad Zarif Monday rejected the move, saying the action 
was without legal basis.

³Iran¹s peaceful nuclear program poses no threat to international peace and 
security and therefore dealing with this issue in the Security Council is 
unwarranted and void of any legal basis or practical utility,² Zarif told the 

Because of Russian and Chinese demands, the text is weaker than earlier drafts, 
which would have made the threat of sanctions immediate. The draft now 
essentially requires the council to hold further discussions before it considers

The draft passed by a vote of 14-1. Qatar, which represents Arab states on the 
council, cast the lone dissenting vote.

Tehran said last week it would reply to the Western incentive package on Aug. 
22, but the council decided to go ahead with a resolution and not wait for 
Iran's response.

ŒAppropriate measures¹

The resolution, under negotiation for weeks, demands Iran ³suspend all 
enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and 

If Tehran does not comply by Aug. 31, the council would consider adopting 
³appropriate measures² under Article 41 of Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which 
pertains to economic sanctions, says the draft.

The resolution is the first on Iran with legally binding demands and a threat to
consider sanctions. The United States and its allies suspect Iran is developing 
a nuclear bomb and accuse it of hiding research over 18 years.

On the eve of the anticipated vote, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a
news conference the resolution was unacceptable and his country had the right 
³to take advantage of peaceful nuclear technology.²

ŒA discussion¹ on punitive measures

Germany and the council¹s five permanent members with veto power ‹ the United 
States, Russia, China, France and Britain ‹ negotiated the text.

But Russia and China are reluctant to impose sanctions and Moscow¹s U.N. 
ambassador, Valery Churkin, has said the sanctions provision meant the council 
would have ³a discussion² only on punitive measures.

Churkin also said the Aug. 31 date was to meet Iran¹s request that it be given 
until Aug. 22 to respond to an offer in June from the six nations of an energy, 
commercial and technological package if Tehran suspended its nuclear work.

No military repercussions

Britain¹s U.N. Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry told reporters before the vote, ³Our 
message to Iran is that we are open to negotiations (and) the package is quite 
clear (in) what it offers and what it requires.²

³If Iran is prepared to take those steps then we can move forward 
constructively,² Jones Parry said.

The resolution is drafted under Chapter 7 of the U.N.  Charter, Article 40, 
which says the council, before taking any action, can call on the those 
concerned to ³comply with such provisional measures as it deems necessary.²

Chapter 7 makes a resolution mandatory and provides options for enforcement. The
document excludes any military action.

© 2006 MSNBC Interactive
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13165160/

© 2006 MSNBC.com

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