Iran rejects UN sanctions

2006-12-26

Richard Moore

Original source URL:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/middle_east/6207319.stm

Sunday, 24 December 2006, 11:23 GMT
Ahmadinejad rejects UN sanctions

Iran's president has rejected UN Security Council sanctions against Tehran, 
insisting his country would press ahead with its nuclear programme.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the resolution passed on Saturday was a "piece of 
paper" adding that the 15 countries who voted in favour would regret it.

Iran has said it will begin installing 3,000 centrifuges at a uranium enrichment
plant at Natanz on Sunday.

The sanctions ban nuclear trade with Iran, but the US wants tougher curbs.

Mr Ahmadinejad said the West had lost its chance to improve relations with Iran.

"Iran is now an established nuclear state and it is in [the West's] interest to 
live along the Iranian nation"

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iranian president
Stand-offs set to continue

"They seek to mobilise a group of their agents on the pretext of this piece of 
paper in order to sow seeds of discord among the Iranian nation," the Iranian 
Fars news agency reported him as saying.

"No matter [whether] they accept it or not, Iran is now an established nuclear 
state and it is in their interest to live alongside the Iranian nation."

A foreign ministry spokesman said the "continuation of peaceful nuclear 
activities" would be Iran's "best response" to the UN sanctions.

The sanctions, passed unanimously, ban the supply of nuclear materials to Iran 
and freeze some assets overseas.

The Security Council resolution demands that Tehran end all uranium enrichment 
work, which can produce fuel for nuclear plants as well as for bombs.

Traces of weapons-grade uranium were found at Natanz, in central Iran, during UN
inspections in 2003, although this was later blamed on contaminated imported 
equipment.

Iran wants to install thousands of centrifuges at Natanz, enabling a vital stage
of the process of enriching uranium into weapons-grade material.

Sanctions 'warning'

The Security Council backed sanctions against Iran after intense debate over the
terms of the resolution.

UN SANCTIONS ON IRAN
  € Ban on import and export of nuclear-related material
  € Assets frozen of 10 companies and 12 individuals
  € Threat of further non-military sanctions

The vote by the 15-member council took place exactly two months after Britain, 
France and Germany first introduced a draft resolution proposing sanctions.

The resolution, under Chapter Seven of Article 41 of the UN Charter, makes 
enforcement obligatory but limits action to non-military measures.

Acting US ambassador to the UN Alejandro Wolff said the resolution sent a 
"warning" to Iran.

"If necessary, we will not hesitate to return to this body if Iran does not take
further steps to comply," Mr Wolff said.

But a senior official at the US state department, Nicholas Burns, said the UN 
resolution was not enough.

He said the US would try to persuade other countries, especially Russia, to 
impose stronger penalties individually.
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