Reuters: Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator told European states on Wednesday they would be the losers if they joined the United States to push through a U.N. Security Council resolution punishing Tehran for its nuclear program. TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator told European states on Wednesday they would be the losers if they joined the United States to push through a U.N. Security Council resolution punishing Tehran for its nuclear program.
Ali Larijani’s comments to the semi-official Mehr News Agency came a day after the European Union backed limited U.N. sanctions against Iran for not halting uranium enrichment, a condition for starting talks on an atomic incentives package.
“If the other side (the EU) yields to American pressure, it is natural that the situation will become radical. The world will not end but it will affect all our cooperation, in which I think the other side will lose more,” Larijani said.
He did not specify what cooperation would be affected, but Iran has in the past threatened, if pushed, to review dealings with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N. watchdog that routinely inspects Iranian atomic facilities.
“Definitely, if a new resolution is issued by the Security Council, we will not be at the point that we are in now for the continuation of talks,” he said.
One Iranian lawmaker was more explicit, however. “If any sanction against Iran is ratified, parliament will oblige the government to have minimum cooperation with the IAEA,” Hamidreza Haji Babaie was quoted as saying by Mehr, adding that this would start with barring inspectors.
The West accuses Iran of seeking to enrich uranium to build atomic bombs, but Tehran insists it only wants to master the technology to make fuel for nuclear power plants.
The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France — plus Germany have offered Iran political and economic incentives on condition Tehran first stopped enrichment.
But Washington has been pressing for moves toward sanctions as talks aimed at coaxing Iran to suspend the work dragged on.
“If it is imagined that it is possible to simultaneously use the policy of ‘carrot and stick’, it is an error in calculation,” Larijani said.
The incentives package did not threaten penalties if Iran refused, but the failure of months of talks between Larijani and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana prompted EU foreign ministers to back incremental measures.
“If the P5+1 really intends to reach a compromise, the joint effort with Solana has paved the way for that to some extent,” Larijani said.