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United Nations Security Council Resolution 1747

UN Security Council
Resolution 1747
Date 24 March 2007
Meeting no. 5,647
Code S/RES/1747 ([ Document])
Subject Non-proliferation
Voting summary
15 voted for
None voted against
None abstained
Result Adopted
Security Council composition
Permanent members
Non-permanent members
Nuclear power in Iran
Flag of the United Nations
Flag of Islamic Republic of Iran

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1747 was a United Nations Security Council resolution that tightened the sanctions imposed on Iran in connection with the Iranian nuclear program. It was adopted unanimously by the United Nations Security Council on 24 March 2007.

In June 2006, the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany offered a package of economic incentives including transfer of technology in the civilian nuclear field, in exchange for Iran to give up permanently its disputed uranium enrichment programme.[1]

Iran did not accept this offer because it was not attractive enough and because of its inalienable right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, it says. To justify its position, Iran made reference to previous accords concluded between the late Shah of Iran and the West regarding Eurodif and Bushehr. Iran has also referred to similar accords between the West and other countries like North Korea or Libya, where agreements reached and promises made have not been kept. In Resolution 1737, adopted by the Security Council in December 2006, an initial series of sanctions against Iran was implemented because it did not suspend its uranium enrichment programme.

In the Resolution 1747, the Council decided to tighten the sanctions imposed on Iran in connection with that nation's nuclear program. It also resolved to impose a ban on arms sales and to step up the freeze on assets already in place. The successive Security Council interventions and positions are summarized hereafter:


  • Background on IAEA inspections 1
  • Statement of intentions 2
  • Nuclear disarmament 3
  • Bushehr nuclear power plant 4
  • Justification for the programme 5
  • United States-Iran relations 6
  • Iran-Israel relations 7
  • Iran's proposed solution 8
  • Earlier resolutions 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12

Background on IAEA inspections

Access to nuclear sites: According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran has not yet declared the full scope of its programme and has not allowed a full-unrestricted access to all its nuclear sites. The programme is 18 years old, and part of it was outside of the IAEA preview. This situation has worried the IAEA and the international community. Iran says that it has allowed the IAEA to access all its nuclear sites, voluntarily and more than any other country by signing additional NPT protocols.

Iran's previous suspension: Iran has said that a previous agreement to suspend uranium enrichment for two years in 2004 did not yield any tangible results for any party. Iran has expressed an official concern to disclose more information to the IAEA because of the repeated military threats made by the West since 2005.[2] Subsequently, the IAEA has declared it is unable to conclude there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran and has referred the file to the Security Council.[3]

Statement of intentions

United Nations position: The permanent Security Council members, including Russia and China, have declared their intentions to prevent Iran from acquiring weapons of mass destruction because of its belligerent rhetoric towards the West and Israel since the Iranian Revolution.[4] In principle, the UN Security Council (UNSC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have confirmed Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear technology in conformity with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).[5]

Iranian stance: Iran said it wanted to build a network of nuclear power plants with a capacity for 20,000 MW by 2020.[6] Iran has referred to its inalienable right to develop nuclear technology for civilian and peaceful purposes under the NPT to justify its position.[7] The Supreme Leader of Iran has stated in a fatwa that possession and use of nuclear weapons is "anti-Islamic".[8] Iranian officials have insisted that they have no intention to develop nuclear weapons. This point has been strongly questioned by the West because uranium enrichment is a dual-use technology.

Iran has dismissed the sanctions and said it did not intend to suspend its enrichment programme. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told the Security Council after the vote: "The world must know – and it does – that even the harshest political and economic sanctions or other threats are far too weak to coerce the Iranian nation to retreat from their legal and legitimate demands." He added: "Suspension is neither an option nor a solution".[9]

Non-Aligned Movement's position: Iran has reminded the Security Council of the Non-Aligned Movement's support for its civilian nuclear programme and its opposition to any military attack against Iran. This declaration by the Non-Aligned Movement, at the summit level, represents 118 countries.[10]

Nuclear disarmament

Iran and weapons of mass destruction: As of 2007, Iran is not known to possess weapons of mass destruction and has signed treaties repudiating their possessions, including the Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). A number of countries, including the U.S., United Kingdom, and France, have accused Iran of a clandestine intention to develop nuclear weapons.[11] By most estimates, Iran is at least two to six years away from being able to produce an atomic bomb, even if it wanted to.[12]

Western hypocrisy: Iran has said it does not accept to be lectured and pressured by the West and it has accused the West of "hypocrisy and double standard". Iran has condemned the Security Council members for not doing what they preach to others: namely, getting rid of their own weapons of mass destruction, as it is their duty under the NPT.[13][14] In March 2006, Iran strongly deplored United Kingdom's decision to renew its Trident missile nuclear weapons system. It also feels threatened by the United States military deployment in Iraq, Afghanistan and in the Middle East. Iran has pointed to the fact that the United States is the only country who has ever used nuclear weapons in history and has not ruled out the possibility to use them again in the future as part of the Bush doctrine, and against the UN Charter.

Double standard: Iran has said that the double standard applied to Israel is unjust and disturbing given its possession of nuclear weapons, its non-adherence to the NPT, and its treatment of the Palestinians over many years. Israel has unofficially stated it needs to have nuclear weapons to assure its survival in a predominantly hostile Middle East environment, since its independence in 1948 and following the Holocaust. Iran has responded that Arabs and the Middle East should not bear responsibility for crimes against humanity and atrocities committed by the Nazis during World War II against the Jews in Europe.[15]

Bushehr nuclear power plant

Nuclear fuel: In 1995, Russia signed a contract to supply a light water reactor for the plant (the contract is believed to be valued between $700,000,000 and $1,200,000,000 USD).[16] Although the agreement calls for the spent fuel rods to be sent back to Russia for reprocessing, the US has expressed concern that Iran would reprocess the rods itself, in order to obtain plutonium for atomic bombs. In March 2007, following Iran's refusal to halt enrichment, Russia announced it will withhold the delivery of nuclear fuel, pretexting overdue payments vis-à-vis the Bushehr reactor even though Iran has denied any late payment. Consequently, Bushehr should be commissioned by early 2009, after five delays of two years each.[17]

Air defense system: Russia has declared repeatedly its opposition to any military attack against Iran's civilian nuclear facilities. In January 2007, Russia announced the sale of 29 units of its Tor Missile System to Iran as part of a one billion dollar deal to protect its installations.[18]

Justification for the programme

Economic reasons: Iran has stated that its programme is motivated by economic needs and scientific progress only. Iran has said its large petroleum reserves will inevitably extinguish, given its increasing domestic energy consumption and because of its oil exports. Iran has referred to U.S. government reports from the time of the Shah and independent U.S. estimates as recent as 2006 to justify its position.[19] Iran has also referred to Russia's recent decision to withhold fuel delivery for its nuclear power plant as an additional reason why it cannot rely on other countries for its nuclear fuel needs.[20]

Financial investment: Iran has said it has spent too much money - over ten billion U.S. dollars in the past 30 years - on its civilian nuclear programme to give it up now.[16][21] Furthermore, it has argued that suspension is a way for the West to undermine Iran's independence and progress. If its rights are not respected by the Security Council, Iran has threatened to withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran has justified its uranium enrichment programme because it has plans to construct more nuclear power plants in the future.[22]

National pride and independence: In March 2007, it was announced that Iran would issue a 50,000 rial banknote with the subject being the Iranian nuclear energy programme, which has become an object of national pride and the symbol of independence for many Iranians.[23]

United States-Iran relations

Iranian concerns: Other subjects interfere with Iran's international file at the Security Council, including:

  • the economic and industrial war conducted by the United States on Iran for many years, through economic sanctions,
  • the freezing of Iran's assets held abroad since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, amounting to over $10 billion according to some estimates,
  • US meddling in its domestic affairs, especially in the field of human rights,
  • CIA Operation Ajax to overthrow democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in the 1950s, for which the U.S. government apologized in 2000.[24]

Propaganda: Both parties have resorted to axis of evil." Iran and the United States accuse each other of not working for the benefit of their own people but for a small group holding to power, even if both parties claim a broad democratic support for their endeavor. A BBC poll conducted in June 2006 found that the world public opinion considered the United States, along with Iran, to be the greatest threats to world peace.[27]

Proxy wars: The United States has accused Iran of undermining peace in the Middle East by supporting economically and militarily warring parties beyond its borders, especially:

Iran accuses the United States to be an "occupier" in Iraq. Nevertheless, Iran has denied any military involvement in Iraq, even though American forces have said they have proof of it. On 25 December 2006, US armed forces arrested and later released four senior Iranian military officials in Baghdad. On January 2007, US controlled forces kidnapped and allegedly tortured five Iranians in Irbil, Iraq, which have not been released yet. In April 2007, those same prisoners were allowed visits by ICRC delegates for the first time.[29] Iran has accused the United States of supporting armed opposition groups against its Government inside and outside of Iran, and conducting UAV reconnaissance flights over Iran since 2005.[30]

Iranian Oil Bourse: According to some experts, Iran is seeking to weaken U.S. global influence by creating an Iranian oil bourse that will trade in Iranian rial and major currencies instead of United States dollars, as well as a gas cartel with Russia, which both have the greatest proven gas reserves in the world. Iran has denied this and has justified both projects based on their sole economic merits.

Iran-Israel relations

Iranian threats: Iran has denied it wants to see "Israel wiped off the map" as reported by the foreign media. Iran's foreign minister has affirmed that Iran's stated policy on Israel is to urge a one-state solution through a countrywide referendum in which a government would be elected that all Palestinians and all Israelis would jointly vote for. This would normally be an end to the "Zionist state", similarly to the end of the Soviet Union.[31][32][33][34]

Israeli threats: Iran has referred to Israel's Defense Forces surprise attack in 1981 against the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq and its recent threats against Tehran as additional reasons why it cannot disclose more information about its programme to the IAEA. Israel has stated that "a nuclear armed Iran is not acceptable for Israel" and that it will take military action if the international community fails to curb Iran's nuclear programme.[35][36] If attacked, Iran has vowed its readiness to retaliate in asymmetric warfare and by using its vast arsenal of missile forces to reach Tel Aviv.[37]

Iran's proposed solution

Comprehensive negotiations: Iran has agreed to hold further talks, without the precondition to halt its uranium enrichment programme. The United States has opposed this, even though it has agreed to hold direct talks relating to other subjects like the war in Iraq.[38] In 2003, Iran was known to have made a similar confidential proposal to the United States through the Swiss Embassy in Tehran. Switzerland is the US protecting power in Iran since the Iranian Revolution in 1979. The United States is said to have rejected those discussions, at that time.[39]

International consortium: Iran is ready to consider the creation of an international consortium for uranium enrichment based in Iran as a solution to the current standoff at the Security Council.[40] In April 2007, Iran declared it had reached the early stage in industrial nuclear fuel production following the installation of more than a thousand centrifuges at the Natanz underground facility. Iran has declared it was planning to install 50,000 more centrifuges in the future.[41] In 2005, Iran inaugurated a uranium conversion facility in Isfahan, and a heavy water production plant in Arak in 2006. All declared Iranian installations are under the strict supervision of the IAEA.

Earlier resolutions

See also


  1. ^ "Iran to Abandon Incentives Package if Security Council Takes Action Over Nukes". Associated Press. 2006-07-30. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  2. ^ "Report: Iran To Start Hiding Its Nuclear Plans". CBS. 2007-03-30. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  3. ^ "Report: Newest IAEA report on Iran cites continued concerns in anticipation of full UNSC consideration". Center for Defense Information. 2006-03-03. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  4. ^ MacAskill, Ewen (2005-10-27). "Israel should be wiped off map, says Iran's president". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  5. ^ "SECURITY COUNCIL TOUGHENS SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAN, ADDS ARMS EMBARGO". UN News Centre. United Nations. 2007-03-24. Retrieved 2007-04-16. 
  6. ^ "Iran to seek bids for two atomic power plants". Reuters. April 15, 2007. 
  7. ^ "EU to seek new Iran nuclear talks". BBC news site (BBC). 2007-03-25. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  8. ^ "Leader’s Fatwa Forbids Nukes". Iran Daily. 2005-11-08. Archived from the original on October 17, 2006. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  9. ^ "Iran rejects new UN sanctions". Al Bawaba. 2007-03-25. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  10. ^ "Iran Wins Backing From Non-Aligned Bloc". Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty. 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-29. 
  11. ^ "Transcript of the Director General's Interview on Iran and DPRK". Financial Times. 2005-02-19. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  12. ^ Buckley, Sarah; Rincon, Paul (2006-01-12). "'"Iran 'years from nuclear bomb. BBC news site (BBC). Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  13. ^ "Nuclear Guarantees On Offer, Discrimination Damages Credibility Of Int’l Bodies". Iran Daily. 2007-02-21. Archived from the original on March 2, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  14. ^ "Iran: Bush and Blair Practicing Atomic Hypocrisy". Tony Benn. The Guardian. 2005-12-01. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  15. ^ "Polling only solution to Palestine problem, President". Iran IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency. 2004-12-14. Retrieved 2007-04-22. 
  16. ^ a b "Iran's Nuclear Chronology (1995)". NTI. 2006-05-01. Archived from the original on August 17, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-25. 
  17. ^ "Russia nuclear delay angers Iran". BBC. 2007-03-13. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  18. ^ "Russian rocket deliveries to Iran started". Agence France Presse. 2006-11-24. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  19. ^ "The Iranian petroleum crisis and United States national security". Roger Stern. Johns Hopkins University. 2006-12-26. Retrieved 2007-04-25. 
  20. ^ "Iran says delay in Russian fuel delivery justifies nuclear stance". Earth Times. 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2007-04-25. 
  21. ^ "Iran's Nuclear Chronology (1957-85)". NTI. 2005-08-01. Retrieved 2007-04-25. 
  22. ^ "Iran to build new nuclear plant". BBC. 2005-12-05. Archived from the original on August 17, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-06. 
  23. ^ MacFarquhar, Neil (2005-05-19). "Across Iran, Nuclear Power Is a Matter of Pride". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-04-25. 
  24. ^ "U.S. Comes Clean About The Coup In Iran". CNN. 2000-04-19. Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  25. ^ "Leader warns of "psychological war" against Iran". Mehr News. 2000-03-23. Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  26. ^ "Psychological warfare between the US and Iran". Christian Science Monitor. 2007-05-30. Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  27. ^ "'"US 'biggest global peace threat. BBC. 2006-06-14. Retrieved 2007-04-05. 
  28. ^ "U.S. Commander: Iran Playing Both Sides Off Middle in Iraq Conflict". Associated Press (Fox News). 2007-04-13. Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  29. ^ "'"Kidnapped Iranian shows 'torture wounds. Herald Sun, Australia. 2007-04-12. Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  30. ^ "Country Reports on Terrorism". US State Department. 2006-04-28. Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  31. ^ "President considers Zionists aggression on Lebanon as unusual". IRNA. 2006-08-03. Archived from the original on January 8, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  32. ^ "Iranian president condemns Zionist atrocities in Gaza". IRNA. 2006-07-03. Archived from the original on July 12, 2006. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  33. ^ "President stresses need for int'l support for Palestine". IRNA. 2006-06-12. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  34. ^ "Ahmadinejad cautions Muslims not to let enemies turn into their speakers". IRNA. 2006-06-02. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  35. ^ "Israel not to accept nuclear-armed Iran: Olmert". People's Daily Online. 2006-11-14. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  36. ^ "Iran's Nuclear Program". US State Department. 2006-03-08. Archived from the original on 2007-04-11. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  37. ^ "Iran warns Israel of swift retaliation". Al Jazeera. 2005-12-18. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  38. ^ "Iran ready for unconditional talks with U.S.: VP". Mehrnews. 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2007-04-25. 
  39. ^ Kessler, Glenn (2007-02-14). "2003 Memo Says Iranian Leaders Backed Talks". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-04-25. 
  40. ^ Isaacson, Walter (2007-03-14). "A way out of Iran's nuclear impasse?". TIME Magazine. Retrieved 2007-04-25. 
  41. ^ "'"Iran enrichment 'in early stages. BBC. 2007-04-12. Retrieved 2007-04-25. 

External links

  • The full text of the resolution PDF
  • Iranian official response to the UNSC decision PDF (48.0 KiB) - Statement made by H.E. Mr. Manouchehr Mottaki, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, before the United Nations Security Council on March 24, 2007
  • Security Council tightens sanctions against Iran over uranium enrichment - UN News Centre Press Release, 24 March 2007
  • Nuclear fuel cycle explained - BBC
  • Iran Watch - Tracks Iran's ability to construct WMD
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