The UN Security Council voted unanimously Saturday to impose new harsher sanctions against Iran for its unwillingness to halt its nuclear activities. The new document is a follow-up of the resolution adopted by the UN Security Council in late December.
"We would like to hope that the Iranian leadership will carefully weigh the meaning of UN Security Council Resolution 1747, which has been adopted unanimously, and carefully analyze the statement made by the foreign ministers of the group of six [Russia, China, Britain, France, the United States and Germany]," Vitaly Churkin said.
The Russian diplomat said the statement by the six world powers, which was read out at the UN, is an important diplomatic initiative and will be formalized into an official document.
Iran has been offered to start negotiations on a comprehensive agreement from scratch, and has also been promised aid in civilian nuclear energy development and direct investment in key sectors of the economy in return for its consent to give up uranium enrichment.
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 new UN Security Council resolution was passed following Tehran's refusal to comply with the previous resolution adopted December 23, 2006.
The new 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. It also threatens new sanctions, if Iran does not comply with it within 60 days, and urges the Islamic Republic to return to negotiations.