AFP: Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed UN sanctions as “nothing new” on Tuesday as a new Security Council deadline loomed for Tehran to freeze its controversial nuclear work.
TEHRAN, May 15, 2007 (AFP) – Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed UN sanctions as “nothing new” on Tuesday as a new Security Council deadline loomed for Tehran to freeze its controversial nuclear work.
“The enemy talks about sanctions but it is nothing new,” state television quoted Khamenei as telling university students in the northeastern city of Mashhad.
“The Iranian nation has always been under sanctions and made its achievements under sanctions,” he added, referring to the US trade embargo put in place after the Islamic revolution of 1979.
The UN Security Council adopted a resolution in March imposing new sanctions against Iran’s missile and nuclear programmes after it repeatedly ignored ultimatums to suspend uranium enrichment.
The world body gave Iran 60 days to suspend enrichment or face further punitive measures, meaning that the latest deadline will expire next week.
The Islamic republic says it only wants to enrich uranium to make nuclear fuel and denies allegations that it seeks to use the process to develop atomic weapons.
As a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran insists it has the right to enrichment work, which is in progress at an underground facility in central Iran.
But world powers have also sought to start talks to resolve the issue with Iran, which refuses to meet the key condition and suspend enrichment.