Monday, July 31, 2006

Iran says Security Council demand illegal

Iranian U.N. Ambassador Javad Zarif rejected as without legal basis on Monday a Security Council demand that it suspend its nuclear activities by the end of the month or face the threat of sanctions.

"Iran's peaceful nuclear program poses no threat to international peace and security and therefore dealing with this issue in the Security Council is unwarranted and void of any legal basis or practical utility," Zarif told the council. READ MORE

In lengthy comments following the council's 14-1 vote on a resolution giving Tehran until August 31 to comply with its demands, Zarif said Iranians were determined to exercise their "inalienable right" to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Iranians were not interested in developing nuclear weapons or any other weapon of mass destruction, he said, recalling a chemical attack staged by then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein on the Iranian people in 1980.

"As the only victims of the use of weapons of mass destruction in recent history, they reject the development and use of all these inhuman weapons on ideological as well as strategic grounds," Zarif said.