Since Iran resumed uranium enrichment in January 2006, the country has been the focus of international concerns, as some Western countries, particularly the United States, suspect Tehran is pursuing a covert weapons program. But Tehran has consistently claimed it needs nuclear power for civilian power generation and is full entitled to its own nuclear program.
The UN Security Council resolution freezes financial accounts abroad of 13 companies and 15 individuals involved in uranium enrichment and missile development projects, imposes visa restrictions and bans arms exports from Iran.
The resolution threatens new sanctions, if Iran does not comply with it within 60 days, and urges the Islamic Republic to return to negotiations.
However, Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki who participated in the UN Security Council's meeting rejected the resolution as unfair and unnecessary.
According to Mottaki, the UN Security Council's decision is not based on international law and Tehran's nuclear projects are intended for civilian purposes only and do not pose a threat to peace and stability.
Mottaki also said Iran is prepared for negotiations without preconditions.
Last December, in response to Iran's unwillingness to give up its nuclear ambitions, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1737, which provided for sanctions against Iran banning activities involving uranium enrichment, chemical reprocessing, heavy water-based projects, and the production of nuclear weapons delivery systems.
At the same time, Vitaly Churkin, Russia's permanent representative at the UN, said the new resolution on Iran ruled out the use of force against the Islamic Republic.
"These restrictions are in no way aimed at punishing Iran. By its decision, the UN Security Council again sends a signal to Tehran about the need of full cooperation with the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] and the UN Security Council. The door for returning to a table of negotiations remains fully open," Churkin said at the UN Security Council's sitting.