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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Security Council calls on Iran to comply with nuclear obligations

27 September 2008 - The Security Council today called on Iran to comply fully and immediately with its previous resolutions ordering the country to stop uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities and to cooperate with inspectors from the United Nations atomic watchdog.

In a resolution adopted unanimously, the 15-member Council also reaffirmed its commitment "to an early negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear issue" and welcomed continuing efforts on that front.

The text calls on Tehran "to comply fully and without delay with its obligations" under a series of Council resolutions between 2006 and this year, and to meet the requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

It also notes the statement in March from China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the support of the European Union, outlining the dual-track approach to resolving the issue involving negotiations and sanctions.

The Middle Eastern nation's nuclear programme - which its officials have stated is for peaceful purposes, but some other countries contend is driven by military ambitions - has been a matter of international concern since the discovery in 2003 that the country had concealed its nuclear activities for 18 years in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

A Council resolution in December 2006 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.

In March 2007, the Council tightened the sanctions by imposing a ban on arms sales and expanding the freeze on assets, and then it imposed further sanctions this March. These included 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.

Speaking before the vote during today's Council meeting, Indonesian Ambassador Marty Natalegawa said it would not have been able to support today's resolution if it had contained language specifying additional sanctions against Iran.

He stressed the need for a negotiated solution to the nuclear issue that protects multilateral arrangements, including the NPT and the IAEA.

On Monday, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei told his agency's Board of Governors - which was meeting in Geneva - that Iran needs to be more transparent about its nuclear activities.

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