- United Nations Security Council Resolution 1747
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1747 tightening the sanctions imposed on
Iranin connection with that nation's nuclear programme, was adopted unanimously by the United NationsSecurity Council (UNSC) on 24 March 2007.
In June 2006, the five permanent
Security Councilmembers plus Germanyoffered a package of economic incentives including transfer of technologyin the civilian nuclear field, in exchange for Iran to give up permanently its disputed uranium enrichmentprogramme. [cite web|date=2006-07-30|url=http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,206284,00.html|title=Iran to Abandon Incentives Package if Security Council Takes Action Over Nukes
Iran did not accept this offer because it was not attractive enough and because of its
inalienable rightto enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, it says. To justify its position, Iran has also referred to previous accords concluded between the late Shah of Iran and the West regarding Eurodifand Bushehr. Iran has also referred to similar accords between the West and other countries like North Koreaor Libya, where agreements reached and promises made have not been kept. In December 2006, the UNSC decided to impose a first series of sanctions against Iran because it did not suspend its uranium enrichment programme.
In the new resolution 1747, the Council decided to tighten the sanctions imposed on
Iranin connection with that nation's nuclear programme. It also resolved to impose a ban on arms sales and to step up the freeze on assets already in place. The successive Security Council interventions and positions are summarized hereafter:
Background on IAEA inspections
Access to nuclear sites:According to the
International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA), Iran has not yet declared the full scope of its programme and has not allowed a full-unrestricted access to all its nuclear sites. The programme is 18 years old, and part of it was outside of the IAEA preview. This situation has worried the IAEA and the international community. Iran says that it has allowed the IAEA to access all its nuclear sites, voluntarily and more than any other country by signing additional NPT protocols.
Iran's previous suspension:Iran has said that a previous agreement to suspend
uranium enrichmentfor two years in 2004 did not yield any tangible results for any party. Iran has expressed an official concern to disclose more information to the IAEA because of the repeated military threats made by the West since 2005. [cite web|date=2007-03-30|url=http://cbs5.com/topstories/topstories_story_089141347.html|title=Report: Iran To Start Hiding Its Nuclear Plans|publisher=CBS|accessdate=2007-04-27] Subsequently, the IAEA has declared it is unable to conclude there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran and has referred the file to the Security Council. [cite web|date=2006-03-03|url=http://www.cdi.org/program/document.cfm?DocumentID=3338&from_page=../index.cfm|title=Report: Newest IAEA report on Iran cites continued concerns in anticipation of full UNSC consideration|publisher=Center for Defense Information|accessdate=2007-04-27]
tatement of intentions
United Nations position:The permanent Security Council members, including
Russiaand China, have declared their intentions to prevent Iran from acquiring weapons of mass destructionbecause of its belligerent rhetoric towards the West and Israel since the Iranian Revolution. [cite web|date=2005-10-27|url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/iran/story/0,12858,1601413,00.html|title=Israel should be wiped off map, says Iran's president|publisher=The Guardian|accessdate=2007-04-27] In principle, the UN Security Council(UNSC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) have confirmed Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear technology under the Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT). [cite web|date=2007-03-24|url=http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2007/sc8980.doc.htm|title=SECURITY COUNCIL TOUGHENS SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAN, ADDS ARMS EMBARGO|publisher=United Nations|work=UN News Centre|accessdate=2007-04-16]
Iranian stance:Iran wants to build a network of nuclear power plants with a capacity for 20,000 MW by 2020. [cite news|url=http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2007-04-15T101632Z_01_BLA525163_RTRUKOC_0_US-IRAN-NUCLEAR-TENDER.xml&pageNumber=1&imageid=&c
] Iran has referred to its
inalienable rightto develop nuclear technology for civilian and peaceful purposes under the NPT to justify its position. [cite web|date=2007-03-25|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6492667.stm|title=EU to seek new Iran nuclear talks|publisher=BBC|work=BBC news site|accessdate=2007-04-18] The Supreme Leader of Iranhas stated in a fatwathat possession and use of nuclear weapons is "anti- Islamic". [cite web|date=2005-11-08|url=http://www.iran-daily.com/1384/2347/html/index.htm|title=Leader’s Fatwa Forbids Nukes
publisher=Iran Daily|accessdate=2007-04-18] Iranian officials have insisted that they have no intention to develop
nuclear weapons. This point has been strongly questioned by the West because uranium enrichmentis a dual-use technology.
Iran has dismissed the sanctions and said it did not intend to suspend its enrichment programme. Iranian Foreign Minister
Manouchehr Mottakitold the Security Council after the vote: "The world must know – and it does – that even the harshest political and economic sanctions or other threats are far too weak to coerce the Iranian nation to retreat from their legal and legitimate demands." He added: "Suspension is neither an option nor a solution". [cite web|date=2007-03-25|url=http://www.albawaba.com/en/countries/Iran/211196|title=Iran rejects new UN sanctions|publisher=Al Bawaba|accessdate=2007-04-27]
Non-Aligned Movement's position:Iran has reminded the Security Council of the
Non-Aligned Movement's support for its civilian nuclear programme and its opposition to any military attack against Iran. This declaration by the Non-Aligned Movement, at the summit level, represents a majority of 118 countries at the United Nationsand 55% of the world population.Cite web|url=http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2006/9/13C06751-5872-4EC2-8AAC-A1E738B11C29.html|title=Iran Wins Backing From Non-Aligned Bloc|accessdate = 2006-09-29|publisher=Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty |year=2006] Nuclear disarmament
Iran and weapons of mass destruction:As of 2007, Iran is not known to possess weapons of mass destruction and has signed treaties repudiating their possessions, including the
Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT). A number of countries, including the U.S., United Kingdom, and France, have accused Iran of a clandestine intention to develop nuclear weapons. [cite web|date=2005-02-19|url=http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Transcripts/2007/ft190207.html|title=Transcript of the Director General's Interview on Iran and DPRK|publisher=Financial Times|accessdate=2007-04-27] By most estimates, Iran is at least two to six years away from being able to produce an atomic bomb, even if it wanted to. [cite web|date=2006-01-12|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4606356.stm|title=Iran 'years from nuclear bomb' |publisher=BBC|work=BBC news site|accessdate=2007-04-18]
Western hypocrisy:Iran has said it does not accept to be lectured and pressured by the
Westand it has accused the West of "hypocrisy and double standard". Iran has condemned the Security Council members for not doing what they preach to others: namely, getting rid of their own weapons of mass destruction, as it is their duty under the NPT. [cite web|date=2007-02-21|url=http://www.iran-daily.com/1385/2788/html/|title=Nuclear Guarantees On Offer, Discrimination Damages Credibility Of Int’l Bodies|publisher=Iran Daily|accessdate=2007-04-18] [cite web|date=2005-12-01|url=http://www.arabnews.com/?page=7§ion=0&article=74005&d=1&m=12&y=2005|title=Iran: Bush and Blair Practicing Atomic Hypocrisy|publisher=The Guardian|work=Tony Benn|accessdate=2007-04-18] In March 2006, Iran strongly deplored United Kingdom's decision to renew its Trident missilenuclear weapons system. It also feels threatened by the United Statesmilitary deployment in Iraq, Afghanistanand in the Middle East. Iran has pointed to the fact that the United States is the only country who has ever used nuclear weapons in history and has not ruled out the possibility to use them again in the future as part of the Bush doctrine, and against the UN Charter.
Double standard:Iran has said that the
double standardapplied to Israelis unjust and disturbing given its possession of nuclear weapons, its non-adherence to the NPT, and its treatment of the Palestinians over many years. Israel has unofficially stated it needs to have nuclear weapons to assure its survivalin a predominantly hostile Middle Eastenvironment, since its independence in 1948 and following the Holocaust. Iran has responded that Arabsand the Middle East should not bear responsibility for crimes against humanityand atrocities committed by the Nazisduring World War IIagainst the Jewsin Europe. [cite web|date=2004-12-14|url=http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/iran/2005/iran-051214-irna02.htm/|title=Polling only solution to Palestine problem, President|publisher=Iran IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency|accessdate=2007-04-22]
Bushehr nuclear power plant
Nuclear fuel:In 1995, Russia signed a contract to supply a
light water reactorfor the plant (the contract is believed to be valued between $700,000,000 and $1,200,000,000 USD). [cite web|date=2006-05-01|url=http://www.nti.org/e_research/profiles/Iran/1825_6245.html|title=Iran's Nuclear Chronology (1995)|publisher=NTI|accessdate=2007-04-25] Although the agreement calls for the spent fuel rods to be sent back to Russia for reprocessing, the US has expressed concern that Iran would reprocess the rods itself, in order to obtain plutoniumfor atomic bombs. In March 2007, following Iran's refusal to halt enrichment, Russia announced it will withhold the delivery of nuclear fuel, pretexting overdue payments vis-à-vis the Bushehrreactor even though Iran has denied any late payment. Consequently, Bushehr should be commissioned by early 2008, after five delays of two years each. [cite web|date=2007-03-13|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6446163.stm|title=Russia nuclear delay angers Iran|publisher=BBC|accessdate=2007-04-27]
Air defense system: Russia has declared repeatedly its opposition to any military attack against Iran's civilian nuclear facilities. In January 2007, Russia announced the sale of 29 units of its
Tor Missile Systemto Iran as part of a one billion dollar deal to protect its installations. [cite web|date=2006-11-24|url=http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=061124134543.qth288nm&show_article=1|title=Russian rocket deliveries to Iran started
publisher=Agence France Presse|accessdate=2007-04-27]
Justification for the programme
Economic reasons:Iran has stated that its programme is motivated by
economicneeds and scientificprogress only. Iran has said its large petroleum reserveswill inevitably extinguish, given its increasing domestic energy consumption and because of its oil exports. Iran has referred to US Governmentreports from the time of the Shah and independent U.S.estimates as recent as 2006 to justify its position. [cite web|date=2006-12-26|url=http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/104/1/377|title=The Iranian petroleum crisis and United States national security|work=Roger Stern|publisher=John Hopkins University|accessdate=2007-04-25] Iran has also referred to Russia's recent decision to withhold fuel delivery for its nuclear power plantas an additional reason why it cannot rely on other countries for its nuclear fuelneeds. [cite web|date=2007-04-03|url=http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/47138.html|title=Iran says delay in Russian fuel delivery justifies nuclear stance|publisher=Earth Times|accessdate=2007-04-25] .
Financial investment:Iran has said it has spent too much money - over ten billion U.S. dollars in the past 30 years - on its civilian nuclear programme to give it up now. [cite web|date=2005-08-01|url=http://www.nti.org/e_research/profiles/1825_1826.html|title=Iran's Nuclear Chronology (1957-85)|publisher=NTI|accessdate=2007-04-25] [cite web|date=2006-05-01|url=http://www.nti.org/e_research/profiles/Iran/1825_6245.html|title=Iran's Nuclear Chronology (1995)|publisher=NTI|accessdate=2007-04-25] Furthermore, it has argued that suspension is a way for the West to undermine Iran's
independenceand progress. If its rights are not respected by the Security Council, Iran has threatened to withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran has justified its uranium enrichment programme because it has plans to construct more nuclear power plants in the future. [cite web|date=2005-12-05|url=http://www.nti.org/e_research/profiles/Iran/1825_6245.html|title=Iran to build new nuclear plant|publisher=BBC|accessdate=2007-05-06]
National pride:In March 2007, it was announced that Iran would issue a 50,000 rial banknote with the subject being the Iranian nuclear energy programme, which has become an object of
national prideand the symbolof independencefor many Iranians. [cite web|date=2005-05-19|url=http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/29/international/middleeast/29nuke.html?ex=1275019200&en=7589d2a1adbbcc8e&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss|title=Across Iran, Nuclear Power Is a Matter of Pride|publisher=New York Times|accessdate=2007-04-25]
United States-Iran relations
Iranian concerns:Other subjects interfere with Iran's international file at the Security Council, including:
economicand industrial warconducted by the United States on Iran for many years, through economic sanctions,
* the freezing of Iran's assets held abroad since the
Iranian Revolutionin 1979, amounting to over $10 billion according to some estimates,
* US meddling in its domestic affairs, especially in the field of
CIA operation Ajaxto overthrow the democratically elected government of Mossadeghin the 1950s, for which the US Governmentapologized in 2000. [cite web|date=2000-04-19|url=http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0004/19/i_ins.00.html|title=U.S. Comes Clean About The Coup In Iran|publisher=CNN|accessdate=2007-04-26]
Propaganda:Both parties have resorted to
propaganda, psychological war, ideologyand defamationthrough the media to galvanize their troops and win the public opinion. [cite web|date=2000-03-23|url=http://mehrnews.com/en/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=463273|title=Leader warns of “psychological war” against Iran|publisher=Mehr News|accessdate=2007-04-26] [cite web|date=2007-05-30|url=http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0530/p09s02-cojh.html|title=Psychological warfare between the US and Iran|publisher=Christian Science Monitor|accessdate=2007-05-30] Iran has labeled the United States " the Great Satan" and chants " Death to America". Meanwhile, the US Governmentsaid that Iran is part of the " Axis of Evil". Iran and the United States accuse each other of not working for the benefit of their own people but for a small group holding to power, even if both parties claim a broad democraticsupport for their endeavor. A BBCpoll conducted in June 2006 found that the world public opinionconsidered the United States, along with Iran, to be the greatest threats to world peace. [cite web|date=2006-06-14|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5077984.stm|title=US 'biggest global peace threat'
Proxy wars:The United States has accused Iran of undermining
peacein the Middle East by supporting economically and militarily warring parties beyond its borders, especially:
Iraqby supporting sectarian violence and the insurgents, [cite web|date=2007-04-13|url=http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,266042,00.html|title=U.S. Commander: Iran Playing Both Sides Off Middle in Iraq Conflict|work=Associated Press|publisher=Fox News|accessdate=2007-04-26]
* in the
Palestinian territoriesthrough Hamas.Iran accuses the United States to be an "occupier" in Iraq. Nevertheless, Iran has denied any military involvement in Iraq, even though American forces have said they have proof of it. On 25 December 2006, US armed forces arrested and later released four senior Iranian military officials in Baghdad. On January 2007, US controlled forces kidnapped and allegedly tortured five Iranians in Irbil, Iraq, which have not been released yet. In April 2007, those same prisoners were allowed visits by ICRCdelegates for the first time. [cite web|date=2007-04-12|url=http://www.news.com.au/sundayheraldsun/story/0,,21543335-5005961,00.html|title=Kidnapped Iranian shows 'torture wounds'|publisher=Herald Sun, Australia|accessdate=2007-04-26] Iran has accused the United States of supporting armed opposition groups against its Government inside and outside of Iran, and conducting UAV reconnaissance flights over Iran since 2005. [cite web|date=2006-04-28|url=http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2005/65275.htm|title=Country Reports on Terrorism |publisher=US State Department|accessdate=2007-04-26]
Iranian Oil Bourse:According to some experts, Iran is seeking to weaken US global influence by creating an
International Oil Boursethat will trade in Iranian Rialand major currencies instead of dollars, as well as a gas cartelwith Russia, which both have the greatest proven gas reserves in the world. Iran has denied this and has justified both projects based on their sole economic merits.
Iranian threats:Iran has denied it wants to see "Israel wiped off the map" as reported by the foreign media. Iran's foreign minister has affirmed that Iran's stated policy on Israel is to urge a
one-state solutionthrough a countrywide referendumin which a government would be elected that all Palestiniansand all Israeliswould jointly vote for. This would normally be an end to the " Zioniststate", similarly to the end of the Soviet Union. [cite web|date=2006-08-03|url=http://www.president.ir/eng/ahmadinejad/cronicnews/1385/05/12/#b2|title=President considers Zionists aggression on Lebanon as unusual|publisher=IRNA|accessdate=2007-04-27] [cite web|date=2006-07-03|url=http://www.president.ir/eng/ahmadinejad/cronicnews/1385/04/12/index-e.htm#b1|title=Iranian president condemns Zionist atrocities in Gaza|publisher=IRNA|accessdate=2007-04-27] [cite web|date=2006-06-12|url=http://www.president.ir/eng/ahmadinejad/cronicnews/1385/03/22/#b1|title=President stresses need for int'l support for Palestine|publisher=IRNA|accessdate=2007-04-27] [cite web|date=2006-06-02|url=http://www.president.ir/eng/ahmadinejad/cronicnews/1385/03/12/#b1|title=Ahmadinejad cautions Muslims not to let enemies turn into their speakers|publisher=IRNA|accessdate=2007-04-27]
Israeli threats:Iran has referred to Israel's Defense Forces surprise attack in 1981 against the
Osiraknuclear reactor in Iraqand its recent threats against Tehranas additional reasons why it cannot disclose more information about its programme to the IAEA. Israel has stated that "a nuclear armed Iran is not acceptable for Israel" and that it will take military action if the international community fails to curb Iran's nuclear programme. [cite web|date=2006-11-14|url=http://english.people.com.cn/200611/14/eng20061114_321117.html|title=Israel not to accept nuclear-armed Iran: Olmert|publisher=People's Daily Online|accessdate=2007-04-27] [cite web|date=2006-03-08|url=http://www.state.gov/t/us/rm/63121.htm|title=Iran's Nuclear Program|publisher=US State Department|accessdate=2007-04-27] If attacked, Iran has vowed its readiness to retaliate in asymmetric warfareand by using its vast arsenal of missile forces to reach Tel Aviv. [cite web|date=2005-12-18|url=http://english.aljazeera.net/English/archive/archive?ArchiveId=17100|title=Iran warns Israel of swift retaliation|publisher=Al Jazeera|accessdate=2007-04-27]
Iran's proposed solution
Comprehensive negotiations:Iran has agreed to hold further talks, without the
preconditionto halt its uranium enrichmentprogramme. The United States has opposed this, even though it has agreed to hold direct talks relating to other subjects like the war in Iraq. [cite web|date=2007-04-03|url=http://mehrnews.com/en/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=465437|title=Iran ready for unconditional talks with U.S.: VP|publisher=Mehrnews|accessdate=2007-04-25] In 2003, Iran was known to have made a similar confidential proposal to the United States through the Swiss Embassy in Tehran. Switzerlandis the US protecting powerin Iran since the Iranian Revolutionin 1979. The United States is said to have rejected those discussions, at that time. [cite web|date=2007-02-14|url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/13/AR2007021301363.html|title=2003 Memo Says Iranian Leaders Backed Talks|publisher=The Washington Post|accessdate=2007-04-25]
International consortium:Iran is ready to consider the creation of an
international consortiumfor uranium enrichment based in Iran as a solution to the current standoff at the Security Council. [cite web|date=2007-03-14|url=http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1599063,00.html|title=A way out of Iran's nuclear impasse?|publisher=TIME Magazine|accessdate=2007-04-25] In April 2007, Iran declared it had reached the early stage in industrial nuclear fuel production following the installation of more than a thousand centrifuges at the Natanzunderground facility. Iran has declared it was planning to install 50,000 more centrifuges in the future. [cite web|date=2007-04-12|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6549185.stm|title=Iran enrichment 'in early stages'|publisher=BBC|accessdate=2007-04-25] In 2005, Iran inaugurated a uranium conversion facility in Isfahan, and a heavy waterproduction plant in Arakin 2006. All declared Iranian installations are under the strict supervision of the IAEA.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1696, demanding Iran halts its enrichment programme, 31 July 2006()
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1737, imposing initial sanctions, 23 December 2006()
Sanctions against Iran
Nuclear programme of Iran
Atomic Energy Organization of Iran
United States-Iran relations
Iran's missile forces
*PDF|1= [http://daccess-ods.un.org/access.nsf/Get?Open&DS=S/RES/1747%20(2007)&Lang=E&Area=UNDOC The full text of the resolution]
*PDF| [http://www.un.int/iran/statements/securitycouncil/articles/Statement_by_H.E._Mr._Mottaki.pdf Iranian official response to the UNSC decision] |48.0 KiB - Statement made by H.E. Mr. Manouchehr Mottaki, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, before the United Nations Security Council on March 24, 2007
* [http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=21997&Cr=Iran&Cr1= Security Council tightens sanctions against Iran over uranium enrichment] - UN News Centre Press Release, 24 March 2007
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/sci_nat/05/nuclear_fuel/html/mining.stm Nuclear fuel cycle explained] - BBC
* [http://www.iranwatch.org/ Iran Watch] - Tracks Iran's ability to construct WMD
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