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Iran sanctions vote signals a global rift

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The abstention Monday came from Indonesia. In a Western-powers push at the end of last week to avoid other abstentions or "no" votes, language noting Iran's cooperation on the nuclear issue over recent months was added at the insistence of other developing countries.

"South Africa does not want to see [either] a nuclear Iran or a country denied peaceful technology," said Dumisani Kumalo, South Africa's ambassador to the UN, in a postvote statement. Ambassador Kumalo said South Africa, which once threatened to vote "no" or abstain, voted "yes" based on Iran's failure to comply with earlier resolutions.

But reflecting the view of other rotating Council members, including Vietnam and Indonesia, Kumalo said South Africa would have preferred to put off the vote and leave further deliberations on the Iranian nuclear program to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN's nuclear watchdog.

In a statement, Iran played to concerns of developing countries that the world's developed powers seek to prolong their control of top lucrative technologies. "No country … can solely rely on others to provide it with the technology and materials that are becoming so vital for its development and for the welfare of its people," said Mohammad Khazaee, Iran's ambassador to the UN. "Peoples across the globe have lost their trust in the Security Council" and see it as the work of "a few powers to advance their own agenda," he added.

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