Sunday, April 02, 2006

Iran Blasts UN But Vows to Work with IAEA

Lesley Wroughton, Reuters:
Iran on Sunday blasted the U.N. Security Council for trying to pressure it into halting its uranium enrichment work but pledged to keep cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) watchdog.

Speaking on CNN's "Late Edition," Aliasghar Soltaniyeh, Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, said his country would not withdraw from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The U.N. Security Council last week unanimously adopted a statement calling on Iran to freeze its uranium enrichment work, which can provide fuel for power plants or atom bombs. It also asked the IAEA to report in 30 days on Iran's cooperation with agency demands.

"The best action of United Nations Security Council is no action, merely just to take note of the documents which have been sent to United Nations Security Council, and let the IAEA to do its own job," Soltaniyeh said, calling the U.N. decision "hasty."

"The more the United Nations Security Council is engaged and involved, the situation will be further deteriorated. And we have to prevent confrontation," he said. READ MORE

Soltaniyeh urged the international community to let the IAEA do its work, saying a team from the nuclear body would visit Iran next week.

He said Iran did not intend to use its enrichment program for atomic bombs and that Iran was open to negotiation to resolve the international dispute.

"Therefore, I advise that United Nations Security Council will not do any action and leave this issue to the IAEA and let this nuclear dossier of Iran, which has been taken as a hostage by American unilateral policy, to come back to the multilateral atmosphere and environment and to be settled on," Soltaniyeh said.

Iran's decision to resume uranium enrichment in January prompted Britain, France and Germany to break off 2-1/2 years of EU talks with Tehran and back a U.S. demand to refer Iran to the Security Council.