Reuters: Iran’s foreign minister said on Saturday the U.N. Security Council, which has passed two sanctions resolutions on Iran since December, had no right to stop it enriching uranium. By Ivan Castro
MANAGUA (Reuters) – Iran’s foreign minister said on Saturday the U.N. Security Council, which has passed two sanctions resolutions on Iran since December, had no right to stop it enriching uranium.
Iran has been upping the ante in a standoff with the Security Council, which has demanded a halt to enrichment over fears Tehran is seeking to build nuclear bombs.
“We don’t accept Iran’s case being passed from the International Atomic Energy Agency to the U.N. Security Council,” Manouchehr Mottaki said through an interpreter at a news conference while visiting Nicaragua.
“The Security Council has no right to take this right away from the people,” he said, referring to Iran’s enrichment of uranium.
Iran, the world’s fourth largest oil exporter, says it wants the fuel for generating electricity and to allow it to export more of its valuable oil and gas.
“Exploiting peaceful nuclear technology is a legitimate and indispensable right of the Iranian people,” Mottaki added.
Mottaki was visiting Nicaragua’s leftist president, Daniel Ortega, to cement ties between the two countries, which have improved since Ortega returned to power after winning an election late last year.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is at loggerheads with Washington over Iran’s nuclear program, visited Nicaragua soon after Ortega’s inauguration in January.
While distrusted by Washington, Ahmadinejad is welcomed in many Latin American countries where leftist leaders are trying to reduce U.S. influence.
Ortega is an ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, another U.S. foe who has forged close ties with Tehran.