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UN N-curbs on Iran

United Nations, December 23
The UN Security Council voted unanimously today to impose sanctions on Iran's trade in sensitive nuclear materials and ballistic missiles, a move aimed at getting Tehran to halt uranium enrichment work.

''Today we are placing Iran in the small category of states under Security Council sanctions,'' acting US Ambassador Alejandro Wolff told the council before the 15-0 vote.

Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who was successful in watering down parts of the resolution, emphasized that the resolution did not permit any use of force.

Moscow's earlier hesitation over supporting the resolution prompted a phone call today from President George W Bush to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had reviewed the resolution until the last minute following two months of tough negotiations. Russia is building an 800 million dollars light-water reactor for Tehran that is exempted in the resolution.

The resolution demands Tehran end all research on uranium enrichment, which can produce fuel for nuclear power plants as well as for bombs, and halt research and development that can make or deliver atomic weapons.

The thrust of the sanctions is a ban on imports and exports of dangerous materials and technology relating to uranium enrichment, reprocessing and heavy-water reactors, as well as ballistic missile delivery systems. Iran has vowed to continue its nuclear programme, which it says is for peaceful uses only.

Today, its parliamentary speaker, Gholami Haddaddel, told state television Tehran would reconsider its relationship with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, if the resolution passed. He did not elaborate.

Russia's Churkin said, ''Russia views this resolution as a serious message being sent to Iran regarding the need to more openly and accurately cooperate with the IAEA to lift or resolve the remaining concerns and questions relating to the nuclear programme.''

The resolution is under Chapter 7 of under Article 41 of Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which makes enforcement mandatory but restricts action to non-military measures.

Outside councilís jurisdiction: Iran

Tehran: Iran condemned the UN Security Council resolution imposing sanctions on Iran's nuclear work today as an illegal measure outside the council's jurisdiction. Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told state-run television the resolution ''cannot affect or limit Iran's peaceful nuclear activities but will discredit the decisions of the Security Council, whose power is deteriorating.'' The resolution imposed sanctions on Iran's trade in sensitive nuclear materials and ballistic missiles in an attempt to get Tehran to halt uranium enrichment work. ó Reuters

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