Global Policy Forum

Resolutions on Iran


In June 2006, the Security Council adopted a resolution endorsing the P5 and Germany offer of diplomatic and economic incentives and demanding that Iran suspend all uranium enrichment programs by August 31. In December 2006, after Tehran's failure to comply, the Council imposed sanctions on Iran's trade in sensitive nuclear materials and technology. Following the IAEA's offer to Tehran of a 60 day grace period where halting of the country's uranium enrichment would be exchanged for suspension of UN sanctions which Iran did not take up, the Security Council passed Resolution 1747 in March 2007, intensifying the previous sanctions package while also naming specific officials as targets of the sanctions and adding additional sanctions against Iranian financial institutions.

Nevertheless, Iran vowed to continue enriching uranium, citing its right to do so without external interference and within the limits of international law. Indeed, Iran has demonstrated compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and the countries that have backed sanctions have provided no evidence to the contrary. In fact, in December 2007, U.S. intelligence services declared that Iran had ended its nuclear weapons research in 2003. In spite of these revelations, Washington's policy remained firm. In March 2008, the Security Council passed Resolution 1803 to reaffirm and uphold previous sanctions.

Debates surrounding Iran's nuclear program intensified in September 2009 when the United States, Britain and France revealed that Iran was building a uranium enrichment facility in a mountain near Qom. Although Iran maintained that the Qom facility was being developed for peaceful purposes and reported its existence to the IAEA, the Security Council emphasized a February 2010 report in which the IAEA noted that Iran continued to enrich uranium. By April 2010, it appeared that Russia and China - Iran's traditional supporters on the Security Council - might reconsider their tolerance of Iran's nuclear program as the USA, France, and Great Britain pushed for a resolution approving more sanctions.

The Permanent Five plus Germany claimed they were engaged in a "two-track" process, meaning that the pressure of sanctions were supplemented by ongoing diplomatic engagement with Iran led by Turkey and Brazil. At the 11th hour, Turkey and Brazil signed a nuclear fuel swap deal that appeared to be a breakthrough. However, The P5 + 1 rejected the deal, saying that it did not address their core concerns. Resolution 1929, which passed in June 2010, represented the culmination of months of Security Council bargaining to reach a sanctions resolution.

The sanctions that have been slapped on Iran have not made the Iranian government more responsive to the demands of the Security Council and the IAEA. However, these sanctions have caused Iranian civilians much hardship, once again calling into question the legitimacy and efficacy of both general and targeted sanctions.

Below is a list of resolutions taking action against Iran. The Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1737 monitors resolutions relating to Iran. You can visit its website here.


Resolution Date Passed Measures
1929 June 9, 2010 Expresses concern about Iran's lack of compliance with previous resolutions, expands and reinforces sanctions, including restrictions on arms, finance, shipping and other "proliferation sensitive activities." Calls upon all states to take measures to prevent the transfer to Iran of weapons systems, and to report on the measures they have taken to implement the sanctions. This resolution was met with strong opposition from Turkey and Brazil, who tried to engineer a nuclear fuel swap deal with Iran. See the UN Press release, which summarises the debate over Resolution 1929.
1835 September 27, 2008 Reaffirms previous resolutions that approved sanctions and demanded that Iran stop uranium enrichment in light of a September 15 IAEA report that Iran had failed to comply with these demands. See the UN Press release, which summarizes the debate over 1835. Indonesia declared its opposition to further sanctions by stating that had Resolution 1835 included further sanctions, it would not have voted in favour.
1803 March 3, 2008 Extends sanctions against Iran. Notes that the Iranian government attempts to enrich uranium - potentially a key component in the development of nuclear weapons. Restricts the import of "dual use" technology used for both peaceful and military purposes, and asks UN member states to inspect cargos suspected of transporting nuclear material to and from Iran. Adds 13 names to an existing travel ban and asset freeze on companies and individuals thought to be engaged in Iran's nuclear program.
1747 March 24, 2007 Builds on Council's previous decision to impose sanctions on Tehran by banning Iranian arms exports and imposing a freeze on the financial assets of 28 individuals and entities. Includes mechanisms for future negotiation with Iran and reference to a nuclear-free Middle East. See the UN Press release, which summarizes concerns expressed by South Africa, Indonesia and Qatar over the right of parties to the NPT to peaceful uses of nuclear technology.
1737 December 23, 2006 Imposes sanctions against Iran. Calls for compliance with IAEA requirements, bans trade with Iran of all items, materials, equipment, goods and technology which could contribute to Tehran's uranium enrichment program and contains a list of persons and entities targeted with an assets freeze. Establishes a new sanctions committee to monitor compliance of the resolution.
1696 June 31, 2006 Endorses the offer of diplomatic and economic incentives put forward by the P5 and Germany and demands that Iran suspend all uranium enrichment programs by August 31. Acts under Article 40 of Chapter VII of the United Nations in order to make mandatory the suspension required by the IAEA. Threatens Iran with sanctions in case of non-compliance but avoids any implication that use of force may be warranted. Iran rejected the resolution claiming that it has only made negotiations more difficult.


FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Policy Forum distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.