News / Middle East

Obama says UN Vote Unmistakable Message to Iran to Change Course

TEXT SIZE - +

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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid