The U.N. Security Council imposed a fourth round of sanctions on a defiant Iran yesterday over a nuclear program the West suspects is aimed at developing the means to build atom bombs.
Iran insisted it would go ahead with the uranium enrichment at the center of the dispute. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the U.N. resolution was “valueless” and should be thrown “in waste bin like a used handkerchief.”
But Russia and China, which have strong ties with Tehran and have at times resisted sanctions, fully backed the new U.N. move. President Barack Obama said the sanctions would be vigorously enforced.
The resolution passed by the 15-nation council followed five months of negotiations between the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia. With 12 votes in favor, it received the least support of the four Iran sanctions resolutions adopted since 2006.
Brazil and Turkey, angry at the West’s dismissal of an atomic fuel deal with Iran that they say made new sanctions unnecessary, voted against. Lebanon, where the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah is in the government, abstained.
The four Western powers had wanted much tougher measures — some targeting Iran’s energy sector — but Beijing and Moscow succeeded in diluting the resolution.
“Until the world’s concerns with Iran’s nuclear defiance are fully resolved, we must work together to ensure that the sanctions in this resolution are fully and firmly implemented,” U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice told the council.