The U.N. Security Council voted 12 to 2 on Wednesday to impose financial and commercial sanctions on Iran—a move it hopes will compel the country to quit its uranium-enrichment habit. All five permanent members of the council voted in favor, including China and Russia, with Brazil and Turkey casting the dissenting votes. The sanctions target both the country and several of its leaders, including the head of the Iranian atomic energy agency and 40 entities linked to the military elite, with travel bans and asset freezes. President Obama said Wednesday the U.N. vote sends an " unmistakable message" to Tehran, but Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the sanctions a "used handkerchief that should be dumped in a garbage can," and the country has vowed to defy the measures.
U.N. Security Council Mario Tama / Getty Images