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Iran remains defiant despite new UN sanctions

 

Twelve out of 15 UN Security Council members voted for new sanctions on Iran on Wednesday. 

Twelve out of 15 UN Security Council members voted for new sanctions on Iran on Wednesday.

June 9, 2010

TEHRAN (NATIONAL POST) — Hardline Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the new UN sanctions imposed on Tehran on Wednesday should be “thrown in the dust bin,” the ISNA news agency reported.

“These resolutions are not worth a dime for the Iranian nation,” Mr. Ahmadinejad told ISNA in Tajikistan.

“I gave one of them (world powers) a message that the resolutions you issue are like a used hanky which should be thrown in the dust bin. They are not capable of hurting Iranians.”

Mr. Ahmadinejad, under whose presidency Iran has doggedly pursued the nuclear programme, said: “Those who have atomic bombs, have used them, stored them or threatened others with them, keep issuing resolutions against us under the pretext that Iran might build an atomic bomb in the future.”

The UN Security Council slapped a fourth set of punitive measures on Iran Wednesday hoping to persuade the Islamic republic to curb its suspect nuclear programme by widening military and financial sanctions.

The vote in the 15-member council was 12 in favor of the U.S.-drafted resolution, with Lebanon abstaining and Brazil and Turkey voting against.

World powers led by Washington suspect Tehran’s nuclear drive is aimed at weapons. Iran denies the charge, saying it is pursuing nuclear technology purely for the peaceful goal of generating electricity.

Iran’s envoy to the UN’s atomic watchdog said the country would not halt its contested uranium enrichment activities in spite of the new UN sanctions.

“Nothing will be changed. We’ll continue without any interruption our enrichment activities under the full scope of IAEA safeguards,” Ali Asghar Soltanieh told reporters at the board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency here.

“Even a second enrichment activity will not be suspended,” Mr. Soltanieh said, referring to the recent move by Iran to enrich uranium to a higher level of purification.

“No matter how many resolutions are passed, Iran will not stop its enrichment activities, which are in full accordance with its right under the statute of the IAEA and the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty).”

Mr. Soltanieh was speaking after the UN Security Council in New York slapped broader military and financial sanctions on Iran over its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, a process which can be used not only to make fuel for nuclear energy, but also the fissile core of an atomic bomb.

Iran has long been enriching uranium to low levels of purification, in defiance of three previous sets of sanctions. But earlier this year, it started enriching to higher levels, ostensibly to make the fuel needed for a research reactor in Tehran which makes radioisotopes for medical use.

The West argues that Iran does not have the technology to turn the higher-enriched uranium into the fuel rods for the reactor.

The West has long accused the Islamic republic of seeking to develop nuclear weapons under the guise of its civilian nuclear energy programme, charges that Tehran denies.

“What happened today in New York was another dark chapter of mistakes and miscalculations” on the past of Western nations, Mr. Soltanieh said.

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