News / Middle East

Obama says UN Vote Unmistakable Message to Iran to Change Course

President Barack Obama says the 12 to 2 vote, with one abstention, by the U.N. Security Council, imposing a fourth round of sanctions on Iran is an unmistakable signal to Iran's government that it must change course on its nuclear program.

The president said the vote was a response to Iran's failure to live up to its international obligations and responsibilities under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and failure to meet requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Reviewing a series of Iranian actions, including Iran's decision to enrich uranium to a level of 20 percent, concealment of a key nuclear site, and construction of several-thousand centrifuges, Mr. Obama said the vote demonstrates Iran must change. "The Iranian government must understand that true security will not come through the pursuit of nuclear weapons.  True security will come through adherence to international law and the demonstration of its peaceful intent," he said.

Turkey and Brazil, who negotiated a nuclear-fuel agreement with Tehran, voted against the resolution, while Lebanon abstained.  With concessions made to win the support of Russia and China, the resolution is not as strong as the United States had sought.

It calls for measures against Iranian banks suspected of involvement in nuclear or missile programs, and lists more than three-dozen companies, entities and individuals with links to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.  It also expands a U.N. arms embargo and places a travel ban and asset freeze on 40 individuals.

The resolution also calls for vessels or aircraft headed to or from Iran, suspected of transporting banned cargo, to be inspected.  And the resolution prohibits countries from allowing Iranian investments in nuclear enrichment plants, uranium mines and other nuclear-related technology.

Iran quickly rejected the resolution. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said it was of no value and should, in his words, be thrown in the trash like a used handkerchief.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs downplayed the failure of the U.S to achieve a unanimous Security Council vote approving the  resolution. "People can debate 12 votes, 15 votes or whatever.  The bottom line is that there is a greater sanctions regime on the government of Iran today than there was yesterday, than there has been at any other point," he said.                       

President Obama said the door is not closed for a diplomatic solution with Iran, saying the sanctions are not directed at the Iranian people, adding he hopes that the government in Tehran will make a different choice going forward.

"I want and hope for the people of Iran that the government of Iran will make a different choice.  It can make a different choice and pursue a course that will reaffirm the Nonproliferation Treaty as the basis of global nonproliferation and disarmament a course that will advance Iran's own security and prosperity and the peace of the wider world," he said.

Iran has consistently denied allegations by the U.S. and other Western powers that it seeks to develop nuclear weapons, saying its uranium enrichment program is for peaceful purposes.

In the U.S. Congress, key Democrats described the U.N. vote as a diplomatic victory for President Obama that will pave the way for further action.  Republicans described the resolution as weak and unenforceable.

The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Democrat Howard Berman, said it paves the way for tougher actions by the European Union and others, adding that Congress intends to pass its sanctions legislation later this month.   

The ranking Republican on the committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, called the resolution weak and full of loopholes, asserting it has no effective means of enforcement and will not stop Iran's march towards nuclear weapons or influence the regime's behavior in any way.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid