Reuters: Iran does not want nuclear arms but it will not give up its right to nuclear energy in the face of international threats, Tehran’s U.N. ambassador said on Wednesday after the Security Council asked it to suspend nuclear enrichment activities.
By Irwin Arieff
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Iran does not want nuclear arms but it will not give up its right to nuclear energy in the face of international threats, Tehran’s U.N. ambassador said on Wednesday after the Security Council asked it to suspend nuclear enrichment activities.
Ambassador Javad Zarif accused the United States of engineering Iran’s referral to the Security Council and said the council used a double standard because it had never looked into Israel’s presumed nuclear arsenal.
“Iran is a country that is allergic to pressure, to threats and intimidation,” Zarif told a news conference after being denied a chance to address the council.
The unanimous council statement asked Mohamed ElBaradei, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, to report back on Iran’s compliance within 30 days. The West suspects Iran’s nuclear program is a cover to make atomic bombs
It was too late at night in Iran for the government to react to the council statement, Zarif said. “Iran will have to consider the statement internally and respond accordingly.”
But in the meantime, “Iran is very clear: We will exercise our rights. We want to allay any concern about the exclusively peaceful nature of our program.”
Zarif said Iran also remained committed to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which gives governments a right to produce nuclear power but aims to prevent civilian nuclear materials from being diverted for military purposes.
Tehran had at one point threatened to pull out of the treaty and kick out IAEA inspectors if its case was referred to the Security Council, which has the power to impose sanctions.
Iran insists its aim is to produce only electricity. It resumed nuclear enrichment activities earlier this year after a temporary halt at the request of the European Union.
“Iran has not waged a war against any country in 250 years, Iran is a member of all international regimes,” Zarif said. “Iran has not threatened any country, Iran does not possess nuclear weapons, nor does it intend to possess them. None of these statements can be made about Israel.”
Israel has lobbied the West hard to crack down on Iran’s nuclear ambitions, fearing it might use atomic arms to attack the Jewish state. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in October Israel should be “wiped off the map.”