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Adoption of Resolution 1696 on Iran

Ambassador John R. Bolton, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Statement to the Security Council
New York City
July 31, 2006

USUN Press Release #193(06) 
For Immediate Release

Mr. President,

Four months have passed since the Security Council called upon Iran to fully and verifiably suspend its nuclear programs, and nearly two months have passed since the EU3-plus-three made its generous offer inviting Iran to enter into negotiations and avoid further Security Council Action. Let us not forget that this diplomatic activity was preceded by more than three years of Iranian noncompliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and its IAEA Safeguards Agreement. Sadly, Iran has consistently and brazenly defied the international community by continuing its pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the continued intransigence and defiance of the Iranian leadership demands a strong response from this Council. The Resolution before us today does just that.

Mr. President, we are pleased the Council has taken clear and firm action in passing this Resolution. The pursuit of nuclear weapons by Iran constitutes a direct threat to international peace and security and demands a clear statement from the Council in the form of a tough Resolution.

This Resolution also demands action. It sends an unequivocal and unambiguous message to Tehran: take the steps required by the IAEA Board of Governors, including full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, and suspend construction of your heavy water reactor. It also calls upon Member States to do what they can to prevent the transfer of resources to Iran's nuclear and missile programs, and Iran should understand that the United States and others will ensure that the financial transactions associated with its proliferant activities will be impeded as well. The United States expects that Iran and all other UN Member States will immediately act in accordance with the mandatory obligations of this resolution passed by the Security Council.

This is the first UNSC resolution on Iran in response to its nuclear weapons program, reflecting the gravity of this situation and the unity and determination of the Council. We hope this Resolution will demonstrate to Iran that the best way to end its international isolation is to simply give up the pursuit of nuclear weapons.

We look forward to Iran's full, unconditional and immediate compliance with this Resolution. We hope that Iran makes the strategic decision that the pursuit of WMD programs make it less and not more secure. We need to be prepared, however, that Iran might choose a different path. This is why it is important the United States and other Member States have the expressed their intention to adopt measures under Article 41 in the event that Iran does not comply with this resolution.

In closing, I would like to thank all Members of the Council for their efforts in helping us secure a strong Resolution.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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