Archive for Monday, September 26, 2005

Iran says U.N. action ‘illegal’

September 26, 2005

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— Iran's foreign minister called a resolution by the U.N. nuclear watchdog that puts it just one step away from possible Security Council sanctions "illegal and illogical" and accused the United States on Sunday of orchestrating the measure.

Separately, in a letter to Iran's ultraconservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, some 180 out of 290 lawmakers called on his government to cancel Iran's voluntary suspension of nuclear activities and scale back cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The resolution passed Saturday by the IAEA board could lead to Iran's referral to the U.N. Security Council for violating the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty - and possible sanctions - unless Tehran eases suspicions about its nuclear activities. Iran insists its nuclear program is designed for generating electricity.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki called the resolution "political, illegal and illogical" and threatened unspecified punitive measures against Britain, France and Germany - the key three European countries negotiating with Iran.

"The three European countries implemented a planned scenario, already determined by the United States," he said on state-run television.

Tehran had already warned that, if the resolution was approved, it could respond by starting uranium enrichment - a possible path to nuclear arms - and by reducing IAEA powers to inspect its activities.

To avoid referral, diplomats said, Iran is being told to suspend all uranium enrichment activities, to give up construction of a heavy water nuclear reactor and to give agency experts access to research and development locations and documentation.

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