CNN: Iran is prepared to resume talks over its nuclear program but will wait until late August as punishment for recently imposed U.N. sanctions, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday.
By the CNN Wire Staff
Tehran, Iran (CNN) — Iran is prepared to resume talks over its nuclear program but will wait until late August as punishment for recently imposed U.N. sanctions, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday.
The outcome of the talks will depend on whether Western powers hold Israel to the same standards over its nuclear program, Ahmadinejad said at a news conference.
“Western countries have no problems with Israel’s nuclear bombs,” Ahmadinejad said.
The U.N. Security Council imposed additional sanctions on Iran in early June, expanding an arms embargo and tightening restrictions on financial and shipping enterprises related to “proliferation-sensitive activities.”
The 12-2 vote with one abstention came after the United States and other Security Council members expressed their concern over Iran’s lack of compliance with previous U.N. resolutions on ensuring the peaceful nature of the nation’s nuclear program.
The resolution on further sanctions was introduced by France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. Brazil and Turkey voted against the measure and Lebanon abstained.
The United States pressured some nations to vote against Iran, Ahmadinejad said at Monday’s news conference.
The Security Council also asked the U.N. secretary-general to create a panel of experts to monitor implementation of the sanctions.
Iran has disavowed any intentions of developing nuclear weapons and says its program is for peaceful purposes.
“Western countries should put their bullying policies aside,” Ahmadinejad said Monday.
The Iranian president questioned the motives of the United States and others who want negotiations. And he discounted that concerns over Iran’s nuclear ambitions are the sole reason for the sanctions.
“They would have found another pretext if it wasn’t for the nuclear pretext,” he said.