Reuters: Threats to refer Iran’s nuclear case to the U.N. Security Council, where Tehran could face sanctions, will not scare it into scrapping its nuclear programme, Iran’s chief atomic negotiator said on Tuesday. TEHRAN (Reuters) – Threats to refer Iran’s nuclear case to the U.N. Security Council, where Tehran could face sanctions, will not scare it into scrapping its nuclear programme, Iran’s chief atomic negotiator said on Tuesday.
“Iran cannot be intimidated by the Security Council. We do not take such threats seriously,” Ali Larijani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, told reporters.
“Iran cannot be threatened with the (Security) Council in order to abandon its right.”
Tehran denies U.S. accusations that its nuclear programme will be used to make atomic bombs.
Washington and the European Union have repeatedly warned Iran it will be sent to the Security Council unless it abides by a September resolution of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) urging it to improve cooperation with U.N. inspectors and to freeze all nuclear fuel work.
The IAEA board is due to meet again to discuss Iran’s case later this month.
Tehran has been praised by the IAEA for improved cooperation in recent weeks, including allowing inspectors to visit a military complex near Tehran.
Larijani has also formally written to Britain, France and Germany requesting a resumption of nuclear negotiations which broke down in August. The EU says it is studying Iran’s offer.
“We want to show that we have gone through all peaceful channels to protect the Iranian nation’s right,” Larijani told reporters after addressing a conference in Tehran. “It would be wise if the Europeans use all diplomatic channels to solve Iran’s nuclear issue,” he said.
EU STATEMENT CRITICISED
But Iran has refused to halt uranium conversion at its Isfahan processing plant, which it resumed in August and which EU diplomats say is the biggest obstacle to fresh talks.
“They (the EU) can try Security Council referral. But I think they are wise enough to understand that today’s situation differs from the past,” Larijani said.
Earlier on Tuesday Iran’s Foreign Ministry rebuked the EU for a tough statement issued from Brussels on Monday calling on Iran to freeze all nuclear fuel work and criticising its human rights record.
“The EU’s statement was surprising. We suggest the Europeans change their behaviour towards Iran,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told state television.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Tuesday held a closed door meeting with the ambassadors of all EU countries and members of the IAEA board.
Larijani also criticised the EU statement, which condemned “in the strongest terms” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinjead’s comments last month in which he said Israel should be “wiped off the map”.
“I am against different articles of this statement, especially those about human rights in Iran,” Larijani said. “If they think that pressuring Iran will force us to abandon the rights of the Iranian nation, they are making a mistake.”
British Foreign Minister Jack Straw said on Monday that the EU had not yet discussed sanctions if Iran failed to comply with the IAEA resolution.