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UN Security Council Approves Sanctions Against Iran


The United Nations Security Council has unanimously approved a resolution imposing sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program.

Under the resolution approved Saturday, the sanctions impose a ban on Iran's trade in sensitive nuclear materials and ballistic missiles. They also freeze the assets of key companies and people the U.N. considers affiliated with Iran's nuclear and missile programs.

The sanctions are aimed at persuading Iran's leaders to halt the country's uranium enrichment program and return to nuclear negotiations. And the resolution promises further non-military sanctions if Iran does not comply.

Iranian lawmakers warned Saturday that Tehran could reduce cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency if the Security Council passed a resolution imposing sanctions.

Saturday's vote ends two months of negotiations among Security Council members concerning the specifics of the sanctions.

Russia earlier objected to parts of the draft resolution, and successfully had some elements weakened, including a mandatory travel ban on people involved in Iran's nuclear and missile programs.

Before today's vote, U.S. President George Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone and agreed on the need to "move forward" on the resolution.

The United States was pushing for a strong sanctions resolution because of Iran's refusal to suspend uranium enrichment by an August 31 U.N. deadline.

The U.S. and its Western allies believe Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.