State’s Burns Warns Iran Faces Additional U.N. Sanctions

By David Shelby
USINFO Staff Writer

Washington – If Iran fails to meet the demands of the U.N. Security Council to suspend its uranium enrichment program in the coming month, the council will be forced to consider a more stringent sanctions resolution, according to a senior State Department official.

International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei is scheduled to deliver a report to the Security Council May 23 assessing Iran’s compliance with the council’s demands.  Under Secretary of State R. Nicholas Burns told reporters in Berlin May 9 that continued defiance from Iran would result in a new sanctions resolution.

“I think you will see a major drive toward a third Chapter 7 Security Council resolution and that would mean intensification and a strengthening of the sanctions,” he said.  Burns said the United States would like to see a prohibition of arms sales to Iran and an international travel ban on senior Iranian officials associated with the nuclear industry.

He also called for greater financial restrictions on Iran and urged European countries and Japan to limit export credits to Iran and reduce trade ties with Iran.

Burns said Iran increasingly is isolated in the international community with countries such as “Brazil and India and Egypt and South Africa and Indonesia all saying - ‘We do not want Iran to have nuclear weapons. We want Iran to come and negotiate.’”

He said the international community is willing to work with Iran to develop a civil nuclear power program, but does not accept Iran’s desire “to change the balance of power in the Middle East and inject a very negative element by developing a nuclear weapons capability over the next few years.”

The Security Council passed unanimous sanctions resolutions against Iran in December 2006 and March 2007, each time giving Iran 60 days to halt its uranium enrichment program or face additional measures.  The resolutions were adopted under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, allowing for the broadest range of economic, political and military measures if Iran fails to comply. (See related article.)

A transcript of Burns’ remarks in Berlin is available on the State Department Web site.

For more information, see Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.