Iran Nuclear NewsIran urges U.N. Council patience on sanctions

Iran urges U.N. Council patience on sanctions

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Reuters: Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki urged the U.N. Security Council on Saturday to wait for a report from its atomic watchdog agency before taking any decision on a new sanctions resolution.
By Barry Malone

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki urged the U.N. Security Council on Saturday to wait for a report from its atomic watchdog agency before taking any decision on a new sanctions resolution.

Ministers from the five permanent members of the Security Council — the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain — as well as Germany agreed on the draft text of a new resolution last week in Berlin.

The draft, a watered down version of what Washington wanted because of resistance from China and Russia, has been circulated to the entire 15-member Council and a senior French diplomat said on Friday that some non-permanent members are stalling.

Pierre Vimont, France’s ambassador to the United States, said several members wanted to give the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), more time to negotiate with Iran before taking further punitive measures.

“The realistic recommendation to all parties — including the five plus one — is to keep their patience and wait for the report of…the IAEA,” Mottaki told reporters on the sidelines of an African Union summit in Ethiopia.

“Then they can sit together and consider the next step based on cooperation, of course, not confrontation,” he said.

The IAEA is expected to deliver a report at the end of February or early March after talks with Iran over its nuclear work. Western countries believe Iran is trying to develop atomic weapons. Iran denies this.

Mottaki said a third round of sanctions would prove ineffective as earlier measures had done.

“I think they should learn from the last two steps in this direction. Sanction is the literature of the 1960s and 1970s and does not work anymore,” he said, repeating that Iran did not need or want nuclear weapons.

“We believe the time of nuclear weapons is over.”

Mottaki said Iran was willing to help African nations develop nuclear capability with the guidance of the IAEA. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Iran expects to have its own nuclear-generated electricity by January of next year.

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