UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a new resolution Saturday reaffirming previous sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt its uranium enrichment program and offering Tehran incentives to do so.
The speedy vote followed a compromise between the United States and Russia to lead a new council effort to condemn Iran's nuclear program, without introducing any new sanctions.
The resolution reaffirmed the three earlier Security Council sanctions resolutions, which imposed progressively tougher sanctions on Iran for refusing to end enrichment of uranium.
U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said the council had restated its call for Iran to comply with the resolutions and cooperate with the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Iran's mission to the United Nations immediately condemned the resolution as "unwarranted and unconstructive," and said Iran was determined to exercise "its inalienable right for peaceful uses of nuclear technology."
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin noted that the new resolution restated that the dispute with Iran should be solved through diplomacy. He said earlier resolutions were carefully crafted to "avoid any military solution to the problem."
Existing sanctions include an asset freeze on 65 companies and individuals linked to Iran's nuclear program, and a travel ban on five people associated with Tehran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The sanctions include bans on Iranian arms exports, on supplying Iran with materials and technology that could contribute to its nuclear and missile programs, and on trade in goods that have both civilian and military uses.
IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei warned Monday that he could not determine whether Iran is hiding some nuclear activities, comments that appeared to reflect a high level of frustration with stonewalling of his investigators by the Iranians.