Bloomberg: Iran won’t suspend uranium enrichment as demanded in a proposed United Nations Security Council resolution set for a vote this week, Iran’s ambassador said today. By Bill Varner
Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) — Iran won’t suspend uranium enrichment as demanded in a proposed United Nations Security Council resolution set for a vote this week, Iran’s ambassador said today.
“It would not be logical to comply with this resolution,” Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee told reporters summoned to the country’s UN mission in New York. “We do not see any reason to suspend our enrichment.”
The U.S., Britain and France have said they would call for a vote by Feb. 29 in an attempt to impose a third round of sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program. The text asks all nations to monitor financial transactions with Iran, bar the travel of designated officials, and inspect cargo going to or from the country that might include banned goods.
“No one can say sanctions are not hurting anybody, but we are not concerned,’ Khazaee said. “We have learned to live with that.”
The U.S. is trying to maintain international backing to pressure Iran into abandoning its nuclear work out of concern it may be a military effort to build a bomb. The U.S. and the Europeans suspect that Iran, the Middle East’s second-biggest oil producer, at least may be attempting to learn how to make a nuclear weapon. Iran says its nuclear program is solely for producing energy to help grow its economy.
The vote on the Security Council is unlikely to be unanimous, which would depart from the sanctions resolutions adopted without opposition in December 2006 and March 2007. Ambassador Giadalla Ettalhi of Libya, the Arab representative on the 15-member panel, said today he would probably vote against the draft.
“I think so,” Ettalhi said. “We cannot be supportive of further sanctions.”
Envoys of Indonesia, South Africa and Vietnam also have expressed concerns about the proposed measure, without saying how they would vote.
Khazaee said the adoption of the resolution would “harm the credibility” of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He said the damage would create problems for the UN nuclear watchdog agency with other countries.
Iran would continue working with the IAEA even after the vote, Khazaee said.
The envoy said he doesn’t foresee any military confrontation with the U.S., while warning that his nation is a “very, very powerful country in the region.” Asked about Israeli threats to take military action against Iranian nuclear facilities, he said any country that did so would be “disappointed.”
Previous resolutions banned the supply to Iran of any items that might contribute to its nuclear program, prohibited arms sales by the country and asked for “restraint and vigilance” in allowing the travel of listed officials.