Sunday, March 05, 2006

Iran leaves open oil weapon option in atomic row

Iran reiterated on Sunday it had no plans to use its oil exports as a weapon in a dispute over its nuclear programme but said it could still do so "if conditions changed".

"We are not interested in using oil as a weapon ... but if the conditions change it could affect our decision," Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani told a news conference. READ MORE

He did not specify what he meant by a change in conditions.

Iran has been reported to the U.N. Security Council, which can impose sanctions, after failing to convince the international community it is developing nuclear energy for power stations and not for weapons.

Iran is the fourth-biggest oil exporter in the world and the second-biggest in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.