INDONESIA ABSTAINS VOTE ON IRAN

INDONESIA ABSTAINS VOTE ON IRAN

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Indonesia abstained from the vote on a U.S.-sponsored resolution on Iran at the UN Security Council. The council imposed fresh sanctions on Iran for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment, but Tehran vowed to continue its nuclear programme because it deemed the action as illegal and politically motivated. The council approved the resolution by a vote of 14-0 with Indonesia alone abstaining. Indonesia’s Ambassador to the UN Marty Natalegawa said in his remarks that the goals of the previous two resolutions were being achieved and that Iran was cooperating with the IAEA, thus at this juncture, more sanctions were not the best course.  The vote was postponed twice to provide time to lobby all 15 members of the council, including Indonesia. Antara news agency quoted Iran’s UN Ambassador Mohammad Khazee as saying he “gives appreciation to Indonesia who did not support the resolution”. Indonesia supported the previous resolution, which led to the House of Representatives summoning President. An international relations analyst at the University of Indonesia, Makmur Keliat, said abstaining was the safest option for Indonesia.