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Iran Shrugs Off Threat Of More UN Sanctions

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has brushed off warnings from inside and outside Iran that the passing of a second UN Security Council resolution against Tehran would put the country in an increasingly risky situation.
by Staff Writers
Tehran (AFP) Mar 13, 2007
Iran on Tuesday shrugged off the threat of further UN Security Council sanctions over its nuclear programme, saying more punitive action would not affect the controversial atomic drive or its economy. "The adoption of another resolution is not welcome but is not worrying," government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham told reporters. "It will not affect our work and will not concern our people."

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad meanwhile brushed off warnings from inside and outside Iran that the passing of a second UN Security Council resolution against Tehran would put the country in an increasingly risky situation.

"Those who say that this country is in a critical situation just think they are politicians," Ahmadinejad told the government daily Iran in an interview.

"Where is our country in a critical situation? Which part of our country is in a critical condition?" he asked in the interview, the full text of which will be published on Thursday.

The defiant remarks by the government come after Ahmadinejad's reformist predecessor Mohammad Khatami warned on Monday that Iran should act with caution and even compromise to prevent the adoption of a second UN resolution.

"Some politicians in foreign affairs -- in fact I do not consider them to be politicians -- think that soft talking and pleading can arouse the sympathy of the other side," scoffed Ahmadinejad.

"But there is not such perception in the world."

The Security Council's five permanent members plus Germany made "substantial progress" on Monday towards agreeing the new draft resolution tightening sanctions against Iran, Britain's UN ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said.

But Elham reaffirmed the government's oft-repeated insistence that it has no intention of suspending uranium enrichment, the key demand of the Security Council over its atomic programme.

"The issue of suspension is completely ruled out and cannot be brought up. They (the other side) have themselves given up on this," he said.

"In this respect Iran's rights have been established," said Elham. "Sanctions will not affect the trend of people's progress. Sanctions are not a new issue for us and we are not worried."

Western powers want Iran to suspend uranium enrichment as they fear the process could be diverted away from civilian use to make nuclear weapons. Iran however insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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