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U.N. Security Council passes more sanctions against Iran

The vote, which was 14 in favor with one abstention, comes amid some indications that sanctions are being felt by Iranian elites.

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The United Nations Security Council on Monday passed a third set of sanctions targeting Iran for its pursuit of uranium enrichment, a process the international community fears could lead to development of a nuclear weapon.

In response, Iran promised to press forward with its nuclear program, including uranium enrichment, saying it "cannot and will not accept a requirement which is legally defective and politically coercive." The unbowed commitment to perfecting the enrichment process practically guarantees that Iran's nuclear program will remain at the top of the international security agenda.

The Council voted 14 in favor, with one abstention from rotating Council member Indonesia. It was a better outcome for the Council’s big powers than the numerous abstentions or even negative votes they were anticipating even a week ago.

The resolution includes new financial measures against specific Iranian individuals and institutions, provisions for inspecting certain Iranian vessels and aircraft, and restrictions on the sale of some dual-use materials to Iran. It is considered an "incremental" increase in pressure on Tehran to halt its enrichment program, according to US officials, and is not expected to force a quick change of heart by Iran.

In a statement following the vote on behalf of the foreign ministers of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the United States, China, and Russia, Britain's ambassador to the UN, Sir John Sawers, said the resolution reflects the "ongoing serious concerns about the proliferation risks of the Iranian nuclear program." The statement also reiterated the six powers' offer to provide Iran with incentives in exchange for halting its nuclear enrichment program.

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