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New UN resolution on Iran reaffirms old sanctions

The UN Security Council is putting more pressure on Iran to halt its uranium-enrichment program with a newly approved resolution that reaffirms existing sanctions on the Islamic nation.

The UN Security Council is putting more pressure on Iran to halt its uranium-enrichment program with a newly approved resolution that reaffirms existing sanctions on the Islamic nation.

The 15-member Security Council unanimously approved the measure Saturday in New York, after Russia and the United States reached a compromise on the new resolution the night before.

The new measure falls short of introducing any new penalties for Iran. Instead, it reaffirms three earlier Security Council resolutions that impose progressively harsher sanctions on Iran for failing to suspend uranium-enrichment activities.

Britain, France and the U.S. have expressed support for a fourth round of sanctions against Iran. Russia and China, who both hold veto powers on the council, stood opposed.

The new resolution calls on Tehran to "fully comply, without delay, with its obligations" under the terms of the existing legally binding resolutions, and fulfil its requirements to the UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Iran insists its enrichment activities are intended only for peaceful civilian purposes and the generation of atomic energy.  

The new resolution will seed "mistrust" and interfere with efforts towards global peace and security, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, said Saturday from Tehran.

The U.S., the European Union and others have accused Iran of wanting to produce atomic weapons.

Previous sanctions against Iran include an embargo on nuclear and ballistic missile programs, an export ban on arms and related material, as well as sanctions against certain Iranian individuals, banks and other entities via travel bans and asset freezes. 

Despite its push for more sanctions, the U.S. said it would support a strong statement as opposed to no action at all.

"It's been six months since the previous resolution was adopted [in March]," U.S. Deputy Ambassador Alejandro Wolff said Friday. "Council silence, we think, would send the wrong signal."

The latest resolution comes after private negotiations between Security Council members Friday, as well as consultations between foreign ministers of several member states, and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Friday that Russia believes "more discussions are necessary with Iranians, and that there is still room for diplomacy here."

With files from the Associated Press

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