Iran unfazed by UN Security Council resolution against it
Iran-UN, Politics, 12/23/2006
Iran's Permanent Ambassador to United Nations Javad Zarif told the UN Security Council today, "Today is a sad day for non-proliferation regime." Zarif was addressing the Security Council after it had adopted a resolution against Iran's peaceful nuclear activities.
"It is indisputable that nuclear weapons in the hands of the Israeli regime with an unparalleled record of noncompliance with Security Council resolutions poses a uniquely grave threat to regional and international peace and security," said Zarif.
"The same governments which have pushed this council to take groundless punitive measures against Iran's peaceful nuclear program have systematically prevented it from taking any action to nudge the Israeli regime towards submitting itself to the rules governing the nuclear nonproliferation regime," Zarif told the 15-nation council.
Zarif said the Security Council "has ignored the serious threat" posed by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's admission last week that Israel possesses nuclear weapons.
The United States has welcomed the UN Security Council's unanimous action December 23 on sanctions against Iran for refusing to suspend nuclear enrichment programs, but stressed that further action is needed by individual nations and groupings to force Iranian compliance.
Speaking with reporters in a conference call shortly after the council's 15-0 vote, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns termed the resolution "significant." But, Burns said, "We want the international community to take further action and we're certainly not going to put all of our eggs in the UN basket."
"We're going to try to convince countries, especially the European Union countries (and) Japan to consider some of the financial measures that we have undertaken.... We'd like to see countries stop doing business as usual with Iran," he added. Burns said the Security Council vote should clear the way for further steps by countries that had argued they could not act in the absence of prior United Nations' action. Burns cited as an example that "10 or 11" European nations have extended substantial export credits to Iran. "We would like countries to stop selling arms to Iran. We would like countries to try to limit export credits to Iran." Burns specifically called on Russia and China, two nations that have been far less inclined toward imposing sanctions on the Iranian regime than the United States has been, to take additional steps to follow on the Security Council's action. "Russia and China... tell us that they want to deny Iran a nuclear weapons capability," he said. "We need to see more vigorous action by both of them. We'd like to see an end of the business as usual, the export credits that I mentioned, the military sales that are still going on."
Burns confirmed that President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin had discussed the Iran issue by telephone earlier December 23, but said he was not aware of the details of that conversation. The under secretary said there is not much more that the United States, by itself, can do because it already has in place "full-scope sanctions on Iran in every conceivable area." Burns expressed satisfaction that the Security Council action, taken under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, came by unanimous vote after months of tough negotiations.
He acknowledged that the resolution was not as comprehensive as the United States might have wanted, and said that if the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports a lack of Iranian compliance by a February 21, 2007, deadline, "then the council has an obligation to take stronger sanctions in the future." Ticking off the major provisions of the resolution, he said it:
· Requires Iran to comply fully with the IAEA in resolving questions about the nation's nuclear program, and requires Iran to suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities at a plant at Natanz and to stop work on all heavy water-related projects, including construction of a heavy-water research reactor at Arak.
· Prohibits all member states from supplying Iran with items including dual-use equipment -- equipment which he said could contribute to proliferation activities and also to Iran's development of a nuclear weapons delivery system -- and prohibits Iran from exporting any related equipment or technology to other countries. He said those bans had been "an early objective of the US" · Requires all states to avoid providing Iran with technical assistance, training or financial services that could contribute to a nuclear weapons development problem, a ballistic missile system or development of its enrichment facilities.
· Requires all states to freeze the assets of a specified list of individuals and entities identified as having a key role in Iran's nuclear program, and requires all states to notify the sanctions committee of travel by those individuals outside of Iran.
That last provision was "the most important part of the resolution," Burns said. He said the United States had fought repeated efforts by others during negotiations to drop it "because we feel that denying financial capital to the Iranian program is the most significant thing that we can do."
Burns said passage of the sanctions resolution will "drive up the costs to the Iranians of... thumbing their nose at the international community by proceeding with these nuclear technological programs." He stressed that the offer of negotiations, which Iran rejected in October, remains on the table. "Our hope is that the Iranians are going to look at this and conclude that they're effectively isolating themselves and that they should accept this offer of negotiations," he said.
Burns made clear that the United States' differences with the Iranian regime extend to more than just its nuclear ambitions. "Our beef with the Iranians is threefold: First is the clear effort to develop a nuclear weapons program, second is the fact that they're in effect the central banker funding Hizbullah, Hamas, PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) General Command and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. And third, they're a major human rights violator of their own people," Burns said.
Perhaps as a counter economic measure from Iran on the US, the Iranian government prepared ground for replacement of dollar with euro and other foreign exchanges, Secretariat of the government's information dissemination council said yesterday. The Economy Council, during its session chaired by President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad on December 2, approved a ratification to transform dollar-denominated forex activities into euros.
Iran's Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Davoud Danesh-Jaafari said today that using euro in transactions with other countries does not indicate that there is no "hard currency basket."
In response to a question about replacement of dollar with euro, he said that given the current special situation of dollar, it was decided to reduce the national deposit in dollar to the minimum possible level and rather increase the amount of other hard currencies in proportion.
Meatime, Iran's Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh said on Wednesday that the European states will suffer the most if possible economic sanction being orchestrated by the US on Iran creates obstacle in the way of Iranian crude oil output.
He made it clear that economic sanctions will have no impact on supplying oil to domestic market.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had said on Wednesday that Moscow believes that sanctions should not be imposed on Iran as an element of punishment.
Talking to reporters, he said certain members of the UN Security Council are trying to replace the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with the Security Council with regards to Iran's nuclear program.
Those countries are trying to punish Iran in the UN Security Council draft resolution on Iran's nuclear program, he added.
Lavrov who reiterated his country's opposition to a proposed travel ban on Iranian officials, saying, "Moscow views such a travel ban on Iranian officials as an attempt to introduce an element of punishment into the draft resolution."
While the US expressed pleasure in the resolution, and speaking to the ineffectiveness of these resolutions, the Washington Post today quoted "Flynt Leverett, a former CIA analyst who has advocated direct US negotiations with Iran. 'There is no way the permanent members of the council are going to agree to any sort of sanction that might actually have any chance" of changing Iran's behavior.'"
A previous UN Security Council resolution was disregarded by Iran which gave the country one month to the end its peaceful nuclear activities from July 31, 2006.
Iran's parliament Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel said today that the Iranian parliament would revise its relations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in light of a sanctions resolution.
The parliament's Foreign Policy and National Security Commission has ratified a bill authorizing Tehran to revise its relations with IAEA in case of any pressure, he said, adding that if they put pressure on Iran, the bill will be debated in parliament.
A Professor of political geography and geopolitics Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh said that cutting Iran's cooperation with international bodies would be "the major step to prevent any anti-Iran resolution by the United Nations Security Council." Mojtahedzadeh who is also head of the London-based research foundation Eurosevic Institute, stressed that Tehran should officially announce it would no longer cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Union regarding its nuclear activities unless its nuclear case be back to to the Governors Board of the UN nuclear watchdog.
Iran's Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Larijani had said on Thursday that the probable UNSC resolution incapable of exerting any pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran. Speaking to reporters after his meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri, he said if they issue resolution on Iran, they should know that it will be useless although the country will give a proper response to such a move.
The measure only exacerbates the situation, he said adding that if they issue the resolution, a new situation would be created for Iran.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad said on Thursday that development and progress of the Iranian nation would mean an end to the bullying powers' tyranny, aggression and injustice worldwide.
"That's the only reason the bullying powers are opposing Islamic Iran's progress and development in different scientific fields; they are much displeased over the issue," said Ahmadi-Nejad in an address to a huge crowd in this western Iranian city on his 23rd provincial visit per an initiative to bring his government closer to the public.
"Enemies of humanity are opposing Iran's progress and development; the US and a few major powers like to monopolize all sciences, technologies and global reserves as well as all opportunities so as to dominate and colonize other nations," declared the president.
He went on to say that in the post-Islamic Revolution era (before 1979) too, enemies of Iran were against sovereignty of the Iranian nation.
"They even oppose Iranian nation's being Muslim and pure; they imposed an eight-year war to prevent our progress but failed at last." Referring to recent claims of the US President George W. Bush that Iranian nation should be prevented to get progress in nuclear field and that Washington should try to isolate the country, the president said, "They are mistaken; even today too they are detached from the world and are the most hated government in the world's public opinion."
Referring to Bush threats on imposing sanctions and isolating the Islamic Republic of Iran on nuclear program, he said, "You have been isolated in the world and if you do not believe it you and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair could arrange a trip to other countries to see how the world nations would welcome you."
Referring to the plots hatched by the "enemies" in the past 27 years against Iran and their subsequent failure, he said these super powers have not been able to take action against Iran and they should be aware that the determined nation with reliance upon their faith and unity would accomplish nuclear program with success, a reference to setting up fuel cycle
Ahmadi-Nejad Thursday had said Iran will soon join the club of nuclear powers and be recognized as such by the world. The Iranian nation is determined to pursue the path of prosperity and will soon reach the peak of progress and development.
"Bullying powers fear the growing awareness of Iranians because they know it is a prerequisite to progress," he added. The US and its European cohorts know fully well that Iran is advancing in power, independence and progress and will increase its influence in the global arena, the Iranian president stressed.
Peaceful application of nuclear technology is legitimate right of our nation, he said adding that it is not clear whether the US and Britain do not really know or do not want to recognize Iranian rights, adding that they think they can create rift among the nation through such words but they do not know that our determined nation are united to defend their legitimate rights.
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