Iran to Abandon Incentives Package if Security Council Takes Action
Iran's foreign ministry warned Sunday that Tehran would abandon the West's package of nuclear incentives if the U.N. Security Council approves a resolution against Iran on Monday.
"If any resolution is issued against Iran tomorrow, the package would be left off the agenda by Iran," Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters. "We will definitely revise our nuclear policy." READ MORE
Asefi's comments marked the first official Iranian response to a draft resolution giving it until the end of August to suspend uranium enrichment or face the threat of international sanctions.
The draft was formally circulated to the full 15-member U.N. Security Council late Friday and observers said it would likely be adopted in the next week.
Asefi referred to the ongoing Israeli-Hezbollah war and said that any Security Council action against Iran "will confront the region with more tension," he said.
In a commentary Sunday, state-run radio called on Europe to exercise restraint.
"Under the international regulations, Iran has the right of achieving peaceful nuclear technology," the broadcast said.
"Iran's nuclear case is an opportunity for the international community and some Western countries to find out that managing the world in the 21st century requires laws and regulations. By resorting to double standards, one can not manage international challenges," the broadcast said.
Tehran said last week it would reply by Aug. 22 to a western incentive package, but the council decided to go ahead with a resolution and not wait for Iran's response.
The package includes economic incentives and a provision for the United States to offer Iran some nuclear technology, lift some sanctions and join direct negotiations.
The proposal also calls for Iran to impose a long-term moratorium on uranium enrichment, which can produce peaceful reactor fuel or fissile bomb material.
The U.S. and some of its allies accuse Iran of seeking nuclear weapons. Tehran maintains its program is purely peaceful and aimed at generating electricity.
Iran has said it will never give up its right under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to enrich uranium and produce nuclear fuel but has indicated it may temporarily suspend large-scale activities to ease tensions.