AFP: An Iranian official said Wednesday the Islamic republic was losing confidence in the international community after the UN Security Council passed a resolution demanding it stop sensitive nuclear work. TOKYO, Aug 2, 2006 (AFP) – An Iranian official said Wednesday the Islamic republic was losing confidence in the international community after the UN Security Council passed a resolution demanding it stop sensitive nuclear work.
Vice President Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie met in Tokyo with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso, who urged Iran to regain the world’s trust.
But Mashaie repeated Iran’s stance that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, a Japanese foreign ministry statement said.
It quoted the vice president as saying Iran was “seriously considering” the comprehensive package of incentives drafted largely by European powers for Tehran to back down on the nuclear issue.
But Mashaie reportedly said that “the Security Council resolution heightens mistrust and strengthens the belief that Western countries are attempting to take away Iran’s rights through pressure rather than dialogue.”
Mashaie, who is the head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, is visiting Japan to open a major display of Persian historical relics.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has refused to back down on the nuclear issue or to give a prompt reply to the package of incentives.
The UN Security Council voted 14-1 on Monday to demand that Iran give up sensitive nuclear activities including uranium enrichment by August 31 or face possible sanctions.
Japan supported the resolution, despite close commercial ties with Iran where Tokyo has invested heavily in the oil sector.
Separately, Aso and visiting Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer urged Iran to respond quickly to the package.
Aso said that message was passed on to Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki when he attended an Asian regional forum last week in Kuala Lumpur.
“We told Iran it should not think that the international community would wait patiently for its response forever. Iran needs to make a swift response,” Aso was quoted as saying by a foreign ministry official after talks with Downer.
“Iran needs to provide a positive response quickly based on the UN Security Council resolution. This issue requires close cooperation,” Downer was quoted as saying.