Security Council approves new sanctions against Iran

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The UN Security Council extended sanctions against Iran yesterday for refusing to halt sensitive activities that could result in the production of a nuclear bomb.

For the first time however, the 15-member council was not unanimous on an Iran resolution, despite the British and French sponsors delaying the vote by three days in a bid to secure unanimity. A total of 14 countries voted in favour, while Indonesia abstained on the ground that Tehran is cooperating with the UN nuclear agency in clarifying outstanding questions about its nuclear programme, which Iran says is for energy purposes.

The UN vote was scheduled as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna was discussing a report by IAEA chief, Mohamed ElBaradei, in which he confirmed that Iran had failed to halt uranium enrichment in line with UN demands. His report raised concerns about documents which the IAEA believed to be connected to nuclear weapon research.

Iran said the documents were fabricated and rejected allegations about missile development.

The sanctions imposed last night ban dual-use goods being traded with Iran, which have both military and civilian purposes, and provide for the inspection of shipments suspected of carrying any banned items.