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. Iran unfazed by any new sanctions over nuclear programme
TEHRAN, Jan 22 (AFP) Jan 22, 2008
Iran played down the impact of any new UN Security Council resolution against its nuclear programme on Tuesday, ahead of talks between major powers in Berlin on possible new sanctions.

"The Iranian nation is striding on the path toward fulfilling its goals within the framework of its legal rights," government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham told reporters.

"Adoption of a possible new resolution will not have any effect on our people."

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has invited his counterparts from the five permanent members of the Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- for a meeting on Tuesday.

The talks are aimed at keeping the pressure on Tehran to come clean about its sensitive nuclear activities, amid signs of an accord on a new Security Council resolution.

Iran which insists its atomic programme should be dealt with only by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, rejects the involvement of the Security Council.

"The involvement of the UN Security Council has no justification," the Iranian spokesman said.

Elham said a new Security Council resolution was "unlikely" and any such move would "weaken the credibility of this international body and the International Atomic Energy Organisation".

A French diplomat said late Monday that the so-called P5+1 expected to reach an agreement in Berlin on a draft Security Council resolution for a third round of sanctions against Iran.

The Islamic republic has already been slapped with two sets of Security Council sanctions for continuing its sensitive atomic activities.

Washington and its European Union allies have been pushing for a third set of UN sanctions for Iran's defiance of international demands to stop uranium enrichment activities that they fear could be used to make a bomb.

Tehran denies it is seeking an atomic weapon, insisting its nuclear programme is peaceful and aimed merely at providing energy for its growing population.

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