Reuters: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants to brief the U.N. Security Council about his country’s civilian nuclear plans, which the West says is a covert attempt to make bombs, state media reported on Sunday. TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants to brief the U.N. Security Council about his country’s civilian nuclear plans, which the West says is a covert attempt to make bombs, state media reported on Sunday.
The five permanent members of the Council — the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia — plus Germany are considering imposing new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear ambitions, which Tehran insists are entirely peaceful.
“The president of Iran plans to speak in a possible meeting of the Security Council on Iran’s nuclear program to defend the right of the Iranian nation to use peaceful nuclear technology,” state TV quoted government spokesman, Gholamhossein Elham, as saying without giving further details.
Iran’s official news agency IRNA quoted Elham saying Ahmadinejad planned to attend “if the Security Council has a meeting on Iran’s nuclear program”.
Iran has ignored United Nations demands that it halt uranium enrichment, a process Western nations say Tehran is mastering so it can produce atomic bombs. Iran, the world’s fourth biggest oil exporter, insists it wants to generate electricity.
The Security Council imposed in December a package of limited sanctions including barring the transfer of sensitive nuclear technology or know-how. It threatened further steps if Iran ignored the February 21 deadline to suspend enrichment.
The latest draft proposals, set out in a March 3 working paper obtained by Reuters, would expand a list of people, firms and groups whose assets would be frozen or trade with whom would be restricted, such as Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the state-owned Bank Sepah.
Both China and Russia have balked at the idea of financial sanctions against Iran during talks among the six powers.