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Iran: UN Security Council

Volume 691: debated on Thursday 19 April 2007

My honourable friend the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Kim Howells) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

On 24 March 2007, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1747, on Iran’s nuclear programme. The resolution was adopted by consensus, once again underlining that the international community is united and determined to see that Iran does not acquire the means to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran has not met its legal obligation in Security Council Resolutions 1696 (2006) and 1737 (2006) to suspend without further delay all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, and take the steps required by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board of governors. Nor has it met the additional obligations in Security Council Resolution 1737 (2006) to suspend work on all heavy water-related projects and provide such access and co-operation as the IAEA requests to verify suspension and resolve all outstanding issues.

The latest report by the IAEA director-general, Dr Mohamed El Baradei, on 22 February 2007, shows that Iran’s co-operation with the agency remains inadequate and that, far from suspending enrichment-related activities, Iran has continued to expand its enrichment operation and press ahead with construction work at the Arak heavy water research reactor.

We have therefore had little choice but to pursue a further Security Council resolution, which reaffirms the obligations imposed on Iran and adopts further appropriate measures to persuade Iran to comply with its obligations and meet the requirements of the IAEA.

The resolution imposes sanctions under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the UN charter, which go further than the non-proliferation measures agreed in Security Council Resolution 1737 (2006). All UN member states have a legal obligation to comply, though not all measures are mandatory. The measures include:

a strengthening of the travel restrictions, so that states are called upon to exercise vigilance and restraint regarding the entry into or transit through their territory by designated individuals;

the designation of a number of new individuals subject to the travel restrictions and individuals and entities subject to the assets freeze, including Bank Sepah and Bank Sepah International;

inclusion of a new sub-category for designating individuals and entities connected to the Iran Republican Guard Corps (IRGC);

a mandatory arms embargo on exports and procurement from Iran;

restrictions on the export to Iran of items included in the UN Conventional Arms Register; and

restrictions on financial assistance to the Government of Iran.

The EU intends to adopt a revised common position covering full and rigorous implementation of the measures contained in the resolution at the General Affairs and External Relations Council on 23 April.

The resolution requests the IAEA director-general to submit within 60 days a further report on Iranian compliance, and affirms that the Security Council will adopt further appropriate measures under Article 41 of the UN charter in the event that the report shows that Iran has not complied with the terms of Resolutions 1737 (2006) and 1747 (2007).

A copy of the resolution is available on the UN website at

We remain committed to a negotiated solution that would address the international community’s concerns. E3+3 Foreign Ministers issued a statement after the adoption of the resolution reconfirming that our June 2006 proposals, attached in Annexe II to the resolution, remained on the table. I urge Iran to take the positive path on offer by meeting in full the requirements of the Security Council and the IAEA board and beginning negotiations with the E3+3 on the basis of those proposals. As the adoption of Resolution 1747 demonstrates, that is the clear and united wish of the whole international community.