By David Gura
Moments ago, the United Nations Security Council voted overwhelmingly to impose a fourth round of sanctions against Iran.
"The new sanctions, a modest increase from previous rounds, took months to negotiate, but did not carry the symbolic weight of a unanimous Security Council decision," Neil MacFarquhar, United Nations correspondent for The New York Times, reports.
The United States had sought broader measures against Iranian banks, its insurance industry and other trade, but China and Russia were adamant that the sanctions not affect the day-to-day economy. Washington and Beijing were wrangling down to the last day over which banks to include on the list, diplomats said, and in the end only one appeared on the list of the 40 new companies to be blacklisted.
Susan Rice, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, said she was pleased with the Security Council's vote.
"Today, I'm proud to say that this council has risen to its responsibilities," she said. "Now Iran should choose a wiser course."
According to Linda Fasulo, reporting for NPR, "among other things, the ten-page resolution calls the vigilance of the business dealings with Iran's banks, including Iran's central bank, and expands a UN weapons embargo."
Forty firms, tied to Tehran's nuclear program, become subject to a foreign asset freeze, and the measure would also establish a cargo-inspection arrangement similar to one imposed on North Korea.
In addition, it bars Iran from investing in uranium activities abroad, and launching ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Iran continues to deny allegations that it is working to produce a nuclear arsenal.
Twelve nations voted in favor of the resolution; Turkey and Brazil, two countries that brokered a nuclear deal with Iran a few weeks ago, voted against it; and Lebanon abstained.