Iran Nuclear NewsIran seems unmoved by specter of sanctions against North...

Iran seems unmoved by specter of sanctions against North Korea

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New York Times: For the most part, Iran’s leaders have offered silence on what lessons they draw from the sanctions that the United Nations Security Council adopted last weekend to punish North Korea for its nuclear test — other than to say, as they have in the past, that they intend to continue what they call a peaceful nuclear program. The New York Times

By NAZILA FATHI
Published: October 19, 2006

TEHRAN, Oct. 18 — For the most part, Iran’s leaders have offered silence on what lessons they draw from the sanctions that the United Nations Security Council adopted last weekend to punish North Korea for its nuclear test — other than to say, as they have in the past, that they intend to continue what they call a peaceful nuclear program.

On Monday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the sanctions on North Korea would not deter Iran. And on Tuesday, he said efforts aimed at preventing Iran from having nuclear technology were doomed to fail, the state-controlled IRNA news agency reported.

At the United Nations, Britain, France, Germany and the United States are working on a Security Council resolution calling for sanctions against Iran for defying the organization’s call to stop enriching uranium. The resolution, which they hope to introduce early next week, may include a ban on nuclear or missile cooperation with Iran. On Tuesday, the 25 European Union foreign ministers met in Luxembourg and agreed to call for limited sanctions on Iran.

After four months of talks with Javier Solana, the director of foreign policy for the European Union, Iran defied a Security Council resolution and refused to suspend its uranium enrichment program in August.

“Some Western countries have turned the U.N. Security Council into a weapon to impose their hegemony and issue resolutions against countries that oppose them,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said Monday, as quoted by state-run television. Iran “won’t be intimidated,” he added.

On Tuesday, he weighed in again. “Some oppressive countries intend to create discord in order to dissuade the Iranian nation from reaching the summits of dignity and glory, including using nuclear technology for peaceful purposes,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said, according to IRNA. “But with God’s kindness, they will be defeated.”

Hard-line newspapers close to Iran’s supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and to Mr. Ahmadinejad warned this week that Iran would respond to any sanctions.

The daily Jomhouri Islami wrote in an editorial on Monday that Iran could take steps that would jeopardize economic and political interests of European countries. The editorial did not offer details, but Iran could restrict sales of oil, or switch to currencies other than the dollar for its large oil trades.

In much harsher language, the daily Kayhan warned Tuesday that if Europeans favored sanctions on Iran, then Iran would act.

“Europe could have learned a lesson from what happened in Afghanistan, Iraq and during the 33-day war in Lebanon, and not underestimate the capability of the Islamic Republic of Iran for taking revenge on its enemies,” it said.

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