Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, said: “If the UN Security Council think that they can apply pressure, it does not matter how many resolutions they issue.”
Mohammad Khazaie, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, said: “We are once again witnessing the bitter reality that the Security Council’s position is belittled to an extent to serve as an instrument at the service of the foreign policy of a few countries.”
Khazaie said on Tuesday that the resolution was “totally illegitimate and illegal”.
Fourteen of the council’s 15 members voted in favour of resolution 1803 proposed by Britain and France, who had delayed the vote in a bid to win unanimity among all members, in order to send a strong signal to Tehran.
Indonesia abstained, but Libya, South Africa and Vietnam, which had initially joined Indonesia in expressing reservations about the need for fresh sanctions, finally voted in favour.
The resolution gives Iran three months to comply with UN and IAEA demands to suspend uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to make nuclear fuel and atomic weapons.
It includes an outright ban on travel by officials involved in Tehran’s nuclear and missile programmes, and broadens a list of individuals and entities subject to an assets freeze.
Iranian officials said that its ongoing co-operation with the UN nuclear watchdog to answer questions about past areas of ambiguity in its atomic programme meant that any new sanctions were wholly unjustified.
Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s ambassador to the UN, said: “The new resolution strengthening sanctions against Tehran results in a weakening of the the IAEA.”
Soltanieh said: “The objective of the false position of the West in the Security Council is to damage the agency and its professional efforts.”
However, Mohammad ElBaradei, the IAEA director-general, had earlier told the agency’s 35-member board of governors in Vienna, that he wanted Iran to be more pro-active and responsible.
ElBaradei said: “I urge Iran to be as active and as co-operative as possible in working with the agency to clarify this matter of serious concern.”