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The UN Security Council is the ONLY UN body with teeth. The only one that can back up a resolution with force–either via sanctions or one of their inept peace keeping forces. There are fifteen members of the security council, five of which are permanent members who have a veto over Council decisions (US, UK, France, Russia and China). That might change if terrorist supporting countries like Iran get their way. Iran wants another permanent member, a permanent Islamic member, with veto power, and if that doesn’t work, there is a movement to take away the veto power of the permanent members. But in the meantime today they made an expected announcement that they want one of the non-permanent seats:

Iran Announces Bid for UN Security Council Seat; U.S. to Oppose
By Bill Varner July 3 (Bloomberg) — Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki announced his country’s bid today for a seat on the United Nations Security Council, a candidacy that U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad immediately rejected. Mottaki told envoys at a meeting of the group of 57 Islamic nations that Iran would seek the seat that will become open when Indonesia’s two-year term ends on Dec. 31, according to diplomats who attended the closed session. Iran would compete with Japan, the only other declared candidate for a seat that is designated for an Asian nation. “They have not been on the Security Council for 50 years,” said Ambassador Munir Akram of Pakistan, who chaired the meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. “It is by standards of equity and the principal of rotation that they would have a legitimate chance.” Iran hasn’t held one of the 10 non-permanent seats on the 15-member panel since 1955-56, the only time the Islamic republic has been a member of the UN’s principal policy making panel. Japan last held a council seat in 2005 and 2006. U.S. opposition would be based on the unwritten rule at the UN that nations under Security Council sanctions aren’t elected to the panel. The council has adopted three resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran over its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment as part of its nuclear program. “For a country that is under sanctions and is not in compliance with the requirements that the international community has repeatedly asked of it, it is surprising that it would believe that it could become a Security Council member,” Khalilzad said. “That would be extraordinarily strange for Iran in the current circumstances.” `A Problem’ Ambassador Vitaly Churkin of Russia, which along with the U.S., Britain, China and France have permanent seats on the Security Council, said the sanctions on Iran would “be a problem.” Election to the Security Council requires a two-thirds vote of the UN’s 192 member nations. Voting for five new temporary members will be held in October. The UN charter says only that voting is to be based on the “contribution of members of the United Nations to the maintenance of international peace and security and to other purposes of the organization, and also to equitable geographical distribution.”

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