Iran says UN resolution won’t stop nuclear work

TEHRAN (Reuters) — A planned UN sanctions resolution will force Iran to review cooperation with the United Nations nuclear watchdog but will not make Tehran abandon its atomic programme, a senior Iranian official said on Thursday.

After weeks of haggling between major world powers, diplomats expect a resolution imposing limited sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt sensitive nuclear fuel work will be approved by the UN Security Council before Christmas.

“The nature of this resolution is not capable of pressuring Iran and Iran will give an appropriate response to it,” Ali Larijani, secretary of Iran’s supreme national security council, was quoted as saying by the ISNA students news agency.

“This behaviour will just create more problems,” he said. “If they ratify the resolution Iran will be in a new situation. In this situation Iran will review its cooperation with the agency (International Atomic Energy Agency) and (review) other political, economic and cultural fields.” Iran denies Western accusations that its civilian nuclear programme masks a covert bomb-making effort.

“The issue for the other side is not whether Iran’s programme is peaceful or not. Basically they don’t want Iran to have such technology,” Larijani said after meeting Pakistani Foreign Minister Kursheed Mehmood Kasuri.

The UN resolution bans imports and exports of materials and technology relating to uranium enrichment, reprocessing and heavy-water reactors, as well as ballistic missile systems.

In a concession to Russia, it has dropped a mandatory travel ban on Iranian officials.


Mocking Bush

Earlier on Thursday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad mocked US President George W. Bush and said Iran’s nuclear programme was a source of inspiration for other nations.

Addressing a rally in west Iran, he urged Bush to “step out of your glass palace and go… to see how isolated you are, not only across the world but also in your own country.” “I am sure that the American people would treat Mr Bush as the Indonesian people treated him,” he said referring to protests that greeted Bush on a visit to Indonesia last month.

His typically outspoken remarks came after Bush said the Iranian president was out of step with the rest of the world. Ahmadinejad, who has shown no sign of being rattled by a surprising political defeat for his allies in local elections last week, said Western efforts to deflect Iran from its goal of perfecting nuclear technology were fruitless.

“Some so-called superpowers… think that they can control the whole world. I’m telling them: Open your eyes, today, the world no longer thinks your decisions have any value,” he said.

In a separate speech on Thursday Ahmadinejad reiterated a prediction that Iran would announce in February it had become a full member of the nuclear energy club.

The official IRNA news agency quoted him as saying Western efforts to rein in Iran’s nuclear plans were motivated by fear that others would follow Tehran’s example. “Iran’s independence, prosperity and progress will soon become an example for other nations,” he said.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki struck a more conciliatory tone, stressing Iran wanted to return to talks.

“We believe it is possible to build a bridge between the two sides such that Iran can have its rights [to nuclear energy] and any question or ambiguity [about its programme] can be removed.”

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