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Iran Defiant After UN Security Council Approves Sanctions


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

Soon after Saturday's vote, a spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry, Mohammad Ali Hosseini, called the resolution "illegal." He called Iran's nuclear programs "peaceful" and said they will continue.

The resolution imposes a ban on Iran's trade in sensitive nuclear materials and ballistic missiles. It also freezes 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. It promises further non-military sanctions if Iran does not comply.

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 Saturday'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.