Iran Nuclear NewsIran dismisses 'worthless' UN resolution

Iran dismisses ‘worthless’ UN resolution

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AFP: Iran on Tuesday dismissed the latest UN Security Council sanctions over its nuclear programme as “worthless”, vowing to press on with the contested drive which the West fears could be used to make weapons. TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran on Tuesday dismissed the latest UN Security Council sanctions over its nuclear programme as “worthless”, vowing to press on with the contested drive which the West fears could be used to make weapons.

The Security Council on Monday imposed its third set of sanctions against Iran in the space of 15 months to punish Tehran’s repeated refusal to suspend the process of uranium enrichment.

The resolution “is worthless and unacceptable and it is condemned”, foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said in a statement quoted by Iranian news agencies.

“The continuation of this trend (of issuing resolutions) will have no effect on the Iranian people and the government’s determination in seeking its legitimate and lawful right for peaceful nuclear activities,” he added.

Iran had been hoping its ongoing cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog to answer questions about past areas of ambiguity in its atomic programme would mean the nuclear case would be taken away from the Security Council.

Officials have also repeatedly hailed the UN watchdog’s latest report as a success for Tehran that “closed” its nuclear case, even though the body was unable to confirm that the atomic drive was peaceful.

“The issuing of this biased and anti-Iranian resolution is another blow to the reputation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and has increased the invalidity of the UN Security Council,” Hosseini added.

Fourteen of the council’s 15 members voted in favour of Resolution 1803 put forward by Britain and France, who delayed the vote in a bid to win unanimity to send a strong signal to Tehran.

The resolution gives Iran three months to comply with UN and IAEA demands to suspend uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to make both nuclear fuel and atomic weapons.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is solely aimed at generating energy and it has every right to the nuclear fuel cycle, including uranium enrichment.

“The resolution is a serious political signal for Tehran on the need to cooperate with the UN Security Council” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

Indonesia abstained, but Libya, South Africa and Vietnam, which joined Indonesia in expressing reservations about the need for fresh sanctions, finally voted in favour.

“The resolution is irrational, unlawful and totally political,” seethed parliament speaker Gholam Ali Hadad Adel.

The issuing of the resolution received low-profile coverage on state television and was absent from the top headlines on the Islamic republic’s main news bulletins.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who dismissed past resolutions as “pieces of scrap paper”, has already said the sanctions will have no impact on Tehran’s nuclear drive.

After the UN vote, the six world powers issued a statement calling for new talks between EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili to break the deadlock.

The resolution also includes an outright ban on travel by officials involved in Tehran’s nuclear and missile programmes, and broadens a list of individuals and entities subject to an assets freeze.

It calls for inspections of shipments to and from Iran if there are suspicions of prohibited goods.

The resolution urges states to “exercise vigilance” in entering into new commitments for public-provided financial support for trade with Iran, including the granting of export credits.

Intelligence shown to the IAEA board last week also alleged that Tehran was involved in military research that pointed to the development of non-conventional weapons.

The information suggested Iran continued nuclear weapons work beyond the 2003 date cited in a recent US intelligence report. But Tehran, which insists its nuclear drive was and is peaceful, dismissed the documents as fakes.

“I urge Iran to be as active and as cooperative as possible in working with the agency to clarify this matter of serious concern,” IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei told the IAEA’s 35-member board of governors in Vienna.

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