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. Iran might use oil in response to UN sanctions: report
DUBAI (AFP) Oct 01, 2005
Iran could use oil as a weapon if the UN Security Council imposes sanctions over suspicions Tehran is seeking weapons of mass destruction, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying Saturday.

Iran might also deny access to international nuclear inspectors if the Security Council is pressurized by Washington and its allies to apply sanctions, Ahmadinejad told the English-language daily Khaleej Times.

"If Iran's case is sent to the Security Council, we will respond by many ways, for example by holding back on oil sales or limiting inspections of our nuclear facilities," Ahmadinejad said.

The newspaper said the Iranian president made his remarks in answer to a question on what his response would be if the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) turned Iran's case over to the Security Council, possibly leading to sanctions.

Ahmadinejad reiterated Iran's position that Tehran has the right to pursue peaceful uses of nuclear energy but there was no question of using that technology to make weapons, as Iran is governed by Islamic principles which prohibit production or use of nuclear weapons.

"Our religion prohibits us from having nuclear arms and our religious leader has prohibited it from the point of view of religious law," he said.

Asked about reported threats by some Iranian officials of triggering a rise in oil prices and pulling out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Ahmadinejad said that "any smart human being should use every resource in order to achieve his independence."

"I doubt that the leaders of the US and Europe are that far removed from reality. They are smarter than denying us this legal right. It's natural they will use whatever they have, which is the UN Security Council, but our nation has the means to defend its rights," he said.

Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful. But the United States and European Union want Iran to abandon all work related to uranium enrichment, arguing Iran cannot be trusted with such sensitive technology, but also offering incentives in return.

The IAEA last week adopted a resolution that finds Iran in "non-compliance" with nuclear proliferation safeguards -- an automatic trigger for taking the matter to the Security Council.

Iran has already threatened to respond to the resolution by ending compliance with the NPT's additional protocol -- which gives the IAEA more inspection powers -- and resuming enrichment.

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