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UN Security Council slaps new sanctions on Iran

The UN Security Council voted in favor of new, tougher sanctions against Iran on Wednesday, scuttling a deal forged by Turkey and Brazil that would have let it exchange nuclear material for nuclear fuel from abroad.

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The UN has upped the ante over Iran's nuclear program

The United National Security Council voted 12-2 on Wednesday to impose additional sanctions on Iran. The decision came after representatives from the United States, France and Russia raised their concerns about a plan to allow Tehran to send some of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for reactor fuel for a medical research reactor.

That deal was brokered by Turkey and Brazil last month - both countries on Wednesday voted against the sanctions, while Lebanon abstained.

Western powers suspect Iran's nuclear program is aimed at developing atomic weapons. Iran had threatened to block any further diplomatic outreach if the new sanctions were imposed.

More companies blacklisted

The reinforced international restrictions on Iran's military and nuclear industries add as many as 41 businesses to the UN blacklist and heavily curtails the operations of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards.

The new UN sanctions aim to undermine Iran's nuclear program and its perceived pursuit of atomic weapons - the main focus of the West's concern - while also attempting to cripple Tehran's ability to develop missile technology by slapping an embargo on heavy weapons sales and pushing for ship inspections.

As well as blacklisting industrial companies, many of which have military contracts or ties to the nuclear industry, the sanctions target companies linked to the Revolutionary Guards, the military power many believe to hold enormous sway over the running of Iran.

UN-imposed travel bans on 40 officials already blacklisted will be strengthened while the head of the contested Isfahan Nuclear Technology Center, Javad Rahiqi, was added to those singled out for asset freezes and travel restrictions.

Author: Holly Fox/Nick Amies (AFP/AP/dpa)
Editor: Andreas Illmer

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