Reaction to Iran sanctions vote

Praise from US, UK; Criticism from Brazil and Turkey; Deaf ears from Iran.

    Western powers believe Iran is developing nuclear weapons, but Iran insists its programme is only for peaceful purposes [Getty]

    The US, the UK, and several other European governments, have praised Wednesday's United Nations Security Council resolution imposing tougher economic sanctions on Iran.

    Brazil and Turkey - the negotiators of last month's nuclear fuel swap deal - criticised the sanctions as an obstacle to further diplomacy. And the Iranian government quickly dismissed the sanctions bill.

    Barack Obama, US president

    "This resolution will put in place the toughest sanctions ever faced by the Iranian government, and it sends an unmistakable message about the international community’s commitment to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons.

    "We know that the Iranian government will not change its behaviour overnight, but today’s vote demonstrates the growing costs that will come with Iranian intransigence. And I want to be clear: These sanctions do not close the door on diplomacy."

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iranian president

    "The sanctions you pass should be thrown into the trash bin like a used tissue... They are not capable of harming the Iranian nation.

    "Those who have atomic bombs, who use them, store them and threaten others with them, use the excuse that Iran may build an atomic bomb in the future and pass sanctions against us."

    Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, Brazilian president

    "Sadly, this time it was Iran who wanted to negotiate and those who didn't want to negotiate were those who think that force resolves everything. I think that taking this decision was a mistake.
    "I think the Security Council threw out a historic opportunity to negotiate calmly on Iran's nuclear programme."

    Ertugrul Apakan, Turkish ambassador to the UN

    "We see no viable alternative to a diplomatic and peaceful solution... but our vote against the resolution today should not be construed as indifference to the problems emanating from Iran’s nuclear programme. We expect steps by the Iranian authorities to dispel those concerns.

    "The declaration must stay on the table. Iran should come to the negotiation table with the P5+1. [the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany]"

    Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan president 

    "Ahmadinejad said that UN Security Council sanctions are not worth a penny to the
    Iranian nation. Well said. It is not worth a penny."

    "We demand respect for the Iranian people, their right to sovereignty and self-determination."

    Chinese foreign ministry

    "China always holds it is the right way to address the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue, negotiation and other diplomatic means to seek a solution that satisfies the concerns of all parties."

    William Hague, British foreign secretary

    "Nothing Iran has done in recent months has shown that it is ready to address international concern that its nuclear programme is not for peaceful purposes. Instead it has continued to renege on commitments, continued to defy the UN Security Council and continued to refuse to discuss its nuclear programme with the E3+3 [UK, France, Russia, Germany, US and China].

    "Britain and its partners remain ready to meet Iran at any time for meaningful negotiations on the nuclear issue. Our offer remains on the table and we will respond to positive steps by Iran."

    Angela Merkel, German chancellor

    "I strongly welcome the approval of this resolution on the Iranian nuclear programme.

    "Again and again and over a long period of time - more than two years - we gave Iran the opportunity to be transparent, including with the international atomic agency... Iran did not accept all these offers and therefore this resolution was needed.

    "I hope that the effect will be that Iran considers being more transparent and co-operative with international organisations."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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