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. Iran says nuclear crisis won't go to UN Security Council
TEHRAN (AFP) Sep 17, 2005
Iran is set for any eventuality in its nuclear crisis, including a military strike, but does not think the case will end up before the UN Security Council, a top official said Saturday.

"We believe Iran's nuclear dossier does not have the capacity to go to the Security Council," said Ali Agha Mohammadi, who heads the Supreme National Security Council in charge of the nuclear dossier.

"We have however examined the different situations... We have even examined the worst possible situations," the official IRNA agency quoted Mohammadi as saying, after both the United States and Israel threatened a pre-emptive strike against Iran's suspect facilities.

"Iran will not be the only one harmed in case of a military attack. We have even studied the ways to harm their interests and the steps we will take will not be lame," he said.

US President George W. Bush on Friday brandished the threat of UN sanctions against Iran with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad set to address the General Assembly Saturday and offer proposals for defusing the crisis.

Mohammadi hinted that the discourse would be conciliatory, as "Ahmadinejad's innovative plan removes accusations that Iran has done concealed work and is seeking nuclear weapons."

Washington believes Tehran is pursuing a secret nuclear weapons programme, while Iran insists it only wants the right to peaceful atomic energy.

The foreign ministers of negotiating partners Britain, France and Germany met with Ahmadinejad at UN headquarters in New York on Thursday and said they would decide how and whether to pursue talks with Tehran based on his speech.

Mohammadi insisted that dialogue was still possible, two days before the UN's nuclear watchdog was due to meet in Vienna to discuss possible action against Iran for resuming suspected nuclear weapons activities.

"Iran is ready for dialogue, understanding and negotiation," he was quoted as saying, adding however that "Iran will not deal over the basics of its nuclear dossier.

"Even if they give us the entire world and ask us to give up the nuclear issue, we will not accept."

Iran agreed to suspend sensitive uranium enrichment activities last November under the so-called Paris agreement, but Tehran resumed its fuel-cycle work in August after angrily rejecting the latest European offer.

The three EU countries want to wean Tehran off its suspected nuclear arms ambitions with economic and security incentives.

Mohammadi said Tehran would welcome expanding negotiating partners from the current three, saying such a move "will not harm Iran's interests in the nuclear issue" although he excluded dealing directly with Washington.

"Our interests and strategy are not in line with the US. They want everything to be under their control."

The United States has been lobbying for world support to haul Iran before the Security Council for sanctions but has signaled it may not have enough backing when the IAEA board convenes Monday.

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