AFP: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Sunday she expects Iran will “pull some stunt in the next couple of days” as a UN vote on tough sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program looms.
By Lachlan Carmichael
WASHINGTON (AFP) — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Sunday she expects Iran will “pull some stunt in the next couple of days” as a UN vote on tough sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program looms.
Asked what she expects in the runup to a UN Security Council vote on sanctions on Tehran over its controversial nuclear program, Clinton said “I expect Iran to pull some stunt in the next couple of days.”
Iran has in the past taken steps to “avoid being held accountable,” Clinton told reporters as she waited to depart on a Latin American trip.
“I don’t think anybody should be surprised if they (Iran) try to divert attention once again from the unity within the Security Council,” the top US diplomat said.
“I think we’ll see Iran say …’wait a minute, wait a minute look at what we’re going to do’ in a bid to thwart sanctions,” Clinton added. “They’ve consistently tried to avoid being held accountable.”
Iran is already under three sets of UN sanctions for its refusal to suspend enrichment of uranium, which can be used as fuel for nuclear power stations and in atomic weapons.
Senior US officials have said they are forging ahead with a resolution without Brazil and Turkey, two non-permanent Security Council members that brokered a nuclear fuel swap deal with Iran aimed at forestalling sanctions.
Under the deal reached last month Iran committed to deposit 1,200 kilogrammes (2,640 pounds) of low-enriched uranium in Turkey in return for reactor fuel.
But the accord drew a cool reaction from world powers led by the United States.
Asked if she were worried about rotating council members and emerging powers Brazil and Turkey not backing sanctions, Clinton said: “We’ll wait and see what happens, but we have the votes.”
Pressed as to whether she meant for passage of new Iran sanctions at the UN, Clinton said: “Yes.”
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Friday that his country will defend its rights even if a new sanctions resolution is imposed by the UN Security Council.
“We are standing in the face of enemies. To defend the rights of the nation, we will pull out any resolutions from the mouth” of the enemies, the hardliner said in a speech marking the 21st death anniversary of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Last month the United States introduced a draft resolution to impose tough new UN sanctions on Iran for pursuing its controversial nuclear program, saying it had the support of the four other permanent veto-wielding Security Council members, Russia, China, Britain and France.