Iran Nuclear NewsIran: sanctions will not stop nuclear plans

Iran: sanctions will not stop nuclear plans

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Guardian Unlimited: The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, today said UN sanctions would not stop Iran from enriching uranium. Guardian Unlimited

Staff and agencies

The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, today said UN sanctions would not stop Iran from enriching uranium.

The show of defiance came as the UN security council moved closer to adopting a resolution after months of wrangling. Russia said today a new draft met most of its concerns.

“The new draft resolution, which has been drawn up by the European troika (Britain, France and Germany) and is now being debated within the UN security council, takes most of our approaches into consideration,” the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, told the news service Interfax.

Russia, which has close economic ties with Tehran, and China have been reluctant to approve too tough a resolution, which has been in the works since Iran’s failure to comply with an August 31 deadline to suspend uranium enrichment.

To meet Russian and Chinese concerns that the initial resolution was too broad, the draft has been revised to specify exactly what materials and technology would be prohibited, and to name affected individuals and companies.

The revised draft also removed a reference to a nuclear facility being built by the Russians at Bushehr in south-west Iran. The facility, expected to go online in late 2007, would be Iran’s first atomic power plant.

Mr Ahmadinejad today warned Britain, France and Germany that Iran will consider their support for any sanctions as an act of hostility.

Speaking a day after election results indicated his allies suffered an embarrassing defeat in local council elections, the Iranian president said: “These three European countries should know that if they insist on preventing the Iranian nation from its path, the Iranian nation will consider their behaviour as enmity and an act of hostility, and will change its behaviour towards them accordingly.”

Mr Ahmadinejad also said it was shameful for the world to turn a blind eye to an apparent Israeli admission that it has nuclear weapons while continuing to pressure Iran to give up its programme.

“They shamelessly remain silent or smile in consent towards the official announcement by the Zionist occupying regime possessing nuclear weapons, but insist, using their influence in global organisations, to impose so-called sanctions against the Iranian nation,” he said.

Mr Ahmadinejad was referring to an interview aired in Germany last week, when the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, appeared to include Israel in a list of nuclear states.

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