Iran Wants Compensation for UN Sanctions

A00905684.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Iran is demanding compensation for unlawful sanctions imposed by the UN for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment, the Islamic Republic Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in a letter to the UN Secretary General on Wednesday.In the 20-page letter, Manouchehr Mottaki said Iran rejects the sanctions resolutions because the UN Security Council went beyond its powers, and its actions are inconsistent with the UN Charter.

The United States, Israel and EU3 (Britain, France and Germany) allege that Iran’s goal is to produce nuclear weapons while they do not have any corroborative evidence to substantiate their allegations. But Iran insists its program is aimed solely at producing nuclear energy.

Mottaki said repeatedly in the letter that Tehran has answered all outstanding questions from the International Atomic Energy Agency and the IAEA “has repeatedly stated that there is no evidence to prove any diversion of the Iranian nuclear program towards military purposes.”

IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said in a Feb. 22 report that his team made good progress in clarifying Iran’s past nuclear activities.

Foreign ministers of the six countries that have been in the forefront of talks with Iran – the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – issued a joint statement to coincide with the council’s adoption of a third sanctions resolution on March 3 reaffirming their approach.

They offered to improve a package of political, security and economic incentives they put on the table in June 2006 to persuade Iran to give up its NPT right of uranium enrichment.

In his response, Mottaki singled out the United States, Britain, France and Germany, accusing them of pushing new sanctions for political motives and “providing false and erroneous information” to the IAEA concerning Iran’s nuclear activities.

“These countries should, as a minimum step, admit their mistakes, apologize to the great nation of Iran, correct their behavior, and above all, compensate all the damages they have inflicted on the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Mottaki said.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran and its citizens have the right to resort to legal actions to seek redress against the sponsors of these unlawful actions,” he said.

The letter offered a rebuttal to every paragraph of the latest sanctions resolution – saying it was illegal to freeze assets and ban travel of Iranians involved in the country’s nuclear program, prevent equipment with both civilian and military uses from entering the country, monitor banks, and search suspected cargo.

The US is at loggerheads with Iran over Tehran’s independent and home-grown nuclear technology. Washington has laid much pressure on Iran to make it give up the most sensitive and advanced part of the technology, which is uranium enrichment, a process used for producing nuclear fuel for power plants.

Washington’s push for additional UN penalties contradicted the recent report by 16 US intelligence bodies that endorsed the civilian nature of Iran’s programs. Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and similar reports by the IAEA head – one in November and the other one in February – which praised Iran’s truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities and announced settlement of outstanding issues with Tehran, any effort to impose further sanctions on Iran seemed to be completely irrational.

The February report by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, praised Iran’s cooperation in clearing up all of the past questions over its nuclear program, vindicating Iran’s nuclear program and leaving no justification for any new UN sanctions.

Tehran says it never worked on atomic weapons and wants to enrich uranium merely for civilian purposes, including generation of electricity, a claim substantiated by the NIE and IAEA reports.

Iran has insisted it would continue enriching uranium because it needs to provide fuel to a 300-megawatt light-water reactor it is building in the southwestern town of Darkhovin as well as its first nuclear power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr.

Not only many Iranian officials, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but also many other world nations have called the UN Security Council pressure unjustified, especially in the wake of recent IAEA reports saying Iran had increased cooperation with the agency.

US President George W. Bush, who finished a tour of the Middle East last month has called on his Arab allies to unite against Iran.

But hosting officials of the regional nations dismissed Bush’s allegations, describing Tehran as a good friend of their countries.

Bush’s attempt to rally international pressure against Iran has lost steam due to the growing international vigilance, specially following the latest IAEA and US intelligence reports.

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