Welcome for new UN Iran sanctions


American Jewish organisations and the Israeli Foreign Ministry have welcomed Wednesday's decision by the United Nations Security Council to impose new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme.

Betty Ehrenberg of the World Jewish Congress said: "The WJC applauds the passage of this latest round of UN sanctions. It demonstrates that the international community is less and less willing to tolerate a rogue state that has an abysmal human rights record and continues to threaten its neighbours and the Western world.

"But sanctions need to have bite and more needs to be done. Iran continues to threaten Israel and the international community needs to do whatever it can to stop it developing nuclear weapons."

The Security Council approved a resolution for a fourth round of sanctions which include prohibiting Iran from buying heavy weapons, tightening financial transactions with Iranian banks and new cargo inspections.

But Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's envoy to the UN's nuclear watchdog, said Tehran would continue its uranium enrichment activities - and the country's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was reported as declaring that the sanctions should be "thrown in the dustbin like a used handkerchief".

The sanctions will be enforced

Turkey and Brazil, which had earlier negotiated a deal with Iran to enrich some of its uranium outside its borders, opposed the resolution. Lebanon abstained and 12 members voted in support.

A statement from Israel's Foreign Ministry said the decision was an "important step" but that stronger sanctions were needed.

President Barack Obama said that the decision sent out an "unmistakable message about the international community's commitment to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons".

He said Iran had to "face consequences" and that the UN will ensure the sanctions are "vigorously enforced".

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