Iran General NewsIran protests Israel's threats

Iran protests Israel’s threats

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AP: Iran’s U.N. ambassador complained in a letter circulated Monday that the Security Council has done nothing to stop Israel’s “unlawful and dangerous threats” against his country. Associated Press

By SARAH DiLORENZO

Associated Press Writer

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – Iran’s U.N. ambassador complained in a letter circulated Monday that the Security Council has done nothing to stop Israel’s “unlawful and dangerous threats” against his country.

Javad Zarif protested a recent statement from Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz that Israel has not ruled out military action against Iran to disable its nuclear program. He also referred to a similar statement that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made in April.

“I wish to inform you that, emboldened by the absence of any action by the Security Council, various Israeli officials have unabatedly continued to publicly and contemptuously make unlawful and dangerous threats of resorting to force against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Zarif said in the letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, dated June 11. He faulted the council for not condemning the statements.

The Security Council imposed sanctions on Iran in December for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment, and modestly increased them in March after Tehran stepped up the program, which can produce nuclear weapons. Iran responded by giving the U.N. nuclear watchdog less access to its nuclear facilities.

In an interview on Israeli Radio on June 9, Mofaz said, “I never said there is no military option, and the military option is included in all the options that are on the table, but at this time it’s right to use the path of sanctions, and to intensify them.” Israel’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Daniel Carmon dismissed the letter as “face-saving.”

Zarif sent another letter to Ban on June 13, protesting the arrest of five Iranians by U.S. forces in northern Iraq in January.

The U.S. military has said the Iranians, whom they allege are connected to a faction that funds and arms insurgents in Iraq, were working in a government liaison office in Irbil in Kurdish-controlled Iraq. Iran has maintained the five were diplomats and were arrested at a consulate.

Carolyn Vadino, deputy spokeswoman at the U.S. mission, said the presence of Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces in Iraq “contradicts Iran’s own policy of supporting the Iraqi government.”

The United States accuses Iran of helping to provide roadside bombs that have killed American troops in Iraq, and a bitter standoff already exists between the two countries over Iran’s nuclear program. Iran has rejected the allegations.

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