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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

09 January 2007

U.S. Envoy Calls on U.N. States To Enforce Iran Sanctions

Ambassador Gregory Schulte says further measures may be necessary

Washington -- The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. office in Vienna, Austria, Gregory Schulte, is calling on U.N. members to implement the Security Council’s agreed upon sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program and to stand prepared to adopt additional measures if Iran continues to defy the international community’s demands.

Speaking in Rabat, Morocco, on January 9, Schulte said pressure on Tehran already is mounting as many governments and companies did not wait for the Security Council’s December 23, 2006, passage of Resolution 1737 to begin demonstrating their concern with Iran’s nuclear ambitions.  (See related article.)

“Governments, companies, and the market are imposing ‘de facto sanctions’ penalizing Iran's government for its bad behavior and bad economics,” he said.  “European banks are limiting their transactions with Iran. Multinational corporations are holding back investments.  Japan has limited its investment in Iran's oil field development.”

The sanctions in Resolution 1737 specifically target Iran’s nuclear program, prohibiting trade in equipment or technology related to its nuclear activities, freezing assets associated with the program and placing travel bans on key individuals involved in the nuclear activities.

The resolution also calls on International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei to report on Iran’s compliance with the council’s demands by February 21.  Schulte said, “[T]he U.N. Security Council must stand ready to consider additional measures once it receives the director-general’s report.”

He said Iran’s refusal to cooperate with IAEA officials, to allow unfettered access to nuclear facilities, to turn over key documents and information related to its program and to explain apparent connections between its nuclear activities and its military research contradict Iran’s claim that its program is solely for civil energy purposes.

“Iran’s nuclear activities are not consistent with a program that is peaceful, and more and more countries are convinced it is not,” he said.  “More and more governments have come to the same conclusion: that Iran’s nuclear program -- with its history of secrecy and violations, its ties to the A.Q. Kahn network, its connections to Iran’s military -- is actually a cover for developing a nuclear weapons capability.”

He added that a package of incentives presented to Tehran in June 2006 included international commitments to help Iran develop a peaceful civil nuclear program free of the risk of proliferation and guaranteed access to a nuclear fuel supply, but he noted that Tehran has rejected the offer.

The ambassador said a nuclear-armed Iran poses a threat to the entire world.  He said it would be emboldened in its pursuit of regional influence and would work to undermine the Middle East peace process.  He also said it likely would spark an arms race in the region.

Schulte urged Tehran to choose between isolation and cooperation with the international community.  “[T]he choice that would most benefit the Iranian people, is for Iran’s leaders to cooperate and to take credible steps to assure the world that their nuclear activities are solely peaceful,” he said.

The full text of the ambassador’s speech is available at the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna Web site.

For more information on U.S. policies, see Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

(USINFO is produced by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:

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