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Saturday, Feb. 17, 2007

Cabinet OKs ban on funds said linked to nuclear Iran


Staff writer

The Cabinet approved sanctions Friday against Iran based on a U.N. Security Council resolution passed in December demanding that Tehran halt its suspected quest for nuclear arms.

The sanctions include a ban on transferring funds involving 10 Iranian companies and 12 individuals designated by the U.N. resolution, which says they have links to Iran's nuclear activities.

The government also will ban trade in materials and technology that could contribute to Iran's nuclear development.

The sanctions take effect Saturday.

"We have to take a firm stance on Iran's nuclear development, as it pertains to maintaining nuclear nonproliferation, it has an influence on North Korea's nuclear (arms) program, and an impact on regional stability in the Middle East," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki told a news conference.

North Korea is also a nuclear-weapons concern. The six-party talks involving Japan, China, the United States, Russia and the two Koreas agreed Tuesday on a deal that will denuclearize North Korea.

"We will urge Iran to carry out U.N. Resolution 1737 and return to negotiations as well as to cooperate with the international community to solve the nuclear issues peacefully," Shiozaki said.

The U.N. Security Council on Dec. 23 unanimously adopted the resolution to impose economic sanctions on Iran.



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