United Nations Security Council Resolution 461

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United Nations Security Council Resolution 461
by the United Nations

Adopted by the Security Council at its 2184th meeting, by a vote of 11 to 0, with 4 abstentions (Bangladesh, Czechoslovakia, Kuwait, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) on 31 December 1979

The Security Council,

Recalling its resolution 457 (1979) of 4 December 1979,

Recalling also the appeal made by the President of the Security Council, on 9 November 1979, which was reiterated on 27 November 1979 (S/13652), ([1])

Gravely concerned over the increasing tension between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America caused by the seizure and prolonged detention of persons of United States nationality who are being held as hostages in Iran in violation of international law and which could have grave consequences for international peace and security,

Taking note of the letters from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran dated 13 November 1979 ([2]) and 1 December 1979 ([3]) relating to the grievances and statements of his Government on the situation,

Recalling also the letter dated 25 November 1979 from the Secretary-General ([4]) stating that, in his opinion, the present crisis between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America poses a serious threat to international peace and security,

Taking into account the Order of the International Court of Justice of 15 December 1979 ([5]) calling on the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to ensure the immediate release, without any exception, of all persons of United States nationality, who are being held as hostages in Iran and also calling on the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to ensure that no action will be taken by them which will aggravate the tension between the two countries,

Further taking into account the report of the Secretary-General of 22 December 1979 on developments of the situation ([6]),

Mindful of the obligation of States to settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered,

Conscious of the responsibility of States to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations,

1. Reaffirms its resolution 457 (1979) in all its aspects;

2. Deplores the continued detention of the hostages contrary to Security Council resolution 457 (1979) and the Order of the International Court of Justice of 15 December 1979;

3. Urgently calls once again on the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to release immediately all persons of United States nationality being held as hostages in Iran, to provide them protection and to allow them to leave the country;

4. Reiterates its request to the Secretary-General to lend his good offices and to intensify his efforts with a view to assisting the Council to achieve the objectives called for in this resolution and in this connexion takes note of his readiness to go personally to Iran;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on his good offices efforts before the Council meets again;

6. Decides to meet on 7 January 1980 in order to review the situation and, in the event of non-compliance with this resolution, to adopt effective measures under Article 39 and 41 of the Charter of the United Nations.


[1] Ibid., Thirty-fourth Year, 2172nd meeting.
[2] Ibid., Supplement for October, November and December 1979, document S/13626.
[3] Official Records of the Security Council, Thirty-fourth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1979, document S/13671.
[4] Ibid., document S/13646.
[5] Ibid., document S/13697.
[6] Ibid., document S/13704.

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