The United Nations' Security Council ratified a fourth round of sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran on Wednesday in order to stymie its continued attempts to manufacture nuclear weapons.
Twelve member states voted in favor of the resolution. Turkey and Brazil voted against it, claiming that the Security Council may not have used up all of its diplomatic options vis-a-vis Iran, and Lebanon – a temporary member of the UNSC – abstained.
Russia and China both supported the ten-page resolution, after the United States promised them that their ability to trade with Iran would not be curtailed.
The new sanctions were passed after being watered down during negotiations with Russia and China on Tuesday. The sanctions were softened in order to win Russian and Chinese support. They do not include the crippling economic sanctions that the United States had promised last year and that Israel had hoped for. They do include a ban on Iran's purchasing heavy weapons such as attack helicopters and missiles.
Rules on financial transactions with Iran's banks have been toughened. The head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency, Javad Rahiqi, has been slapped with asset freezes and a travel ban, as have 40 firms linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and other sections of the military elite.
US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said following the vote that the Security Council “has risen to its responsibilities and now Iran should choose a wiser course."
"These are tough, strong and comprehensive sanctions that will be the most significant of all of the resolutions that imposed sanctions on Iran," Rice said in an interview. "The fact that the Iranians have exerted so much effort and spent so much money to block this from coming into effect is one of several indications that they really don't want these sanctions adopted and enacted. I think they share our views, quite frankly, that these are a significant and serious set of new sanctions."