United Nations Security Council Resolutions

There have been five UN Security Resolutions addressing Iran’s nuclear program:

UNSCR 2049, adopted June 7, 2012

UNSCR 1984, adopted June 9, 2011

UNSCR 1929, adopted June 9, 2010

UNSCR 1835, adopted September 27, 2008

UNSCR 1803, adopted March 3, 2008

UNSCR 1803 reaffirms resolutions 1747, 1737 and 1696 in calling for a suspension of Iran's uranium enrichment. Also acting under Article 41 (see note below explaining this issue), it:

  • Calls for "vigilance and restraint" regarding the transit of individuals associated with the nuclear program and other designated entities.
  • Calls for vigilance in entering into new commitments for trade with Iran, export credits, guarantees, insurance, etc.
  • Calls upon states to exercise vigilance over the activities of banks domiciled in Iran, in particular Bank Melli and Bank Saderat.
  • Calls for cargo inspections of aircraft and vessels, traveling to and from Iran, owned by Iran Air Cargo and Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line, provided there are reasonable grounds to believe it is carrying good prohibited under this or previous resolutions.
  • Reiterates the willingness of the Perm-5 to engage in diplomatic discussions aimed at ending the issue provided Iran suspends enrichment.
  • Expands the number of individuals subject to travel restrictions and asset bans to a total of 30.

UNSCR 1747, adopted March 24, 2007

UNSCR 1747, like its predecessor acting under Article 41 of the UN Charter's Chapter VII, adds incrementally to the provisions of 1737. Inter alia, it:

  • Imposes a ban on military exports by Iran
  • Calls on states to exercise "vigilance and restraint" in exporting military equipment to Iran.
  • Calls on states not to enter into "new commitments for grants, financial assistance, and concessional loans" to the government of Iran
  • Expands the entities and people named in the Annex to include an additional 10 entities and eight individuals involved in nuclear and/or ballistic missile work; and designates three Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps entities and seven IRGC individuals.
  • It also names Bank Sepah, reportedly Iran's fourth largest, as an entity affiliated to the IRGC and thereby subject to the financial restrictions outlined in the resolution.
  • This resolution also reiterates (and republishes) the full text of the June 2006 offer to Iran.

UNSCR 1737, adopted December 23, 2006

UNSCR 1737, acting under Article 41 of Chapter VII, demands that Iran suspend uranium enrichment. It also:

  • bans exports to Iran of items on Part B of the Nuclear Suppliers Group trigger list (with the exception equipment for the light water reactor at Bushehr),
  • bans technical cooperation related to its nuclear program (except where the IAEA deems such cooperation necessary for humanitarian or medical purposes),
  • calls on states to deny transit ("exercise vigilance regarding the entry into or transit through…") to people associated with the nuclear or missile programs
  • freezes the funds of people and entities designated by the UNSC as involved in "proliferation sensitive activity."
  • An Annex attached to the resolution names 12 individuals said to be associated with Iran's nuclear and/or ballistic missile programs and 10 entities involved with the nuclear/missile program.

UNSCR 1696, adopted July 31, 2006

UNSCR 1696, acting under Article 40 of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, calls on Iran to:

  • resolve outstanding issues with the IAEA, demands that it suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, and
  • urges the international community to reach a "diplomatic, negotiated solution that guarantees Iran's nuclear programme is for exclusively peaceful purposes."
  • It contains no sanctions but notes that subsequent resolutions would be adopted under Article 41 of Chapter VII.

A note about Articles 40, 41 and 42 of the UN Charter's Chapter VII:

Article 40 represents the first rung on the ladder of the Security Council's gradually escalating efforts to bring about compliance with its demands. It does not contain the threat or use of military force. Article 41 still does not allow for the use of armed force but does permit the "complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations." Should the measures outlined in Article 21 prove inadequate, Article 42 allows for actions "by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations."