Iran Nuclear NewsPresident snubs UN vote on sanctions

President snubs UN vote on sanctions

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Sunday Telegraph: The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, last night snubbed the United Nations Security Council vote on tighter sanctions against his country, accusing the US of making it impossible for him to attend, writes Gethin Chamberlain. The Sunday Telegraph

Gethin Chamberlain, Sunday Telegraph

The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, last night snubbed the United Nations Security Council vote on tighter sanctions against his country, accusing the US of making it impossible for him to attend, writes Gethin Chamberlain.

The package of sanctions, aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program, targets the country’s arms exports, its state-owned Bank Sepah and the elite Revolutionary Guards, who are believed to have been behind the seizure of British troops in the Gulf.

On the eve of the vote, Mr Ahmadinejad cancelled his appearance before the council, saying visas for his flight crew arrived too late for his private plane to reach New York in time. Washington disputed the claim.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini accused Washington of “deliberate and conscious negligence”. He said: “Delays in granting the visas were planned in such a way that the trip, given the distance involved, could not take place.”

Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki did attend, having been sent on a commercial flight. The vote was expected to be unanimous in the 15-nation body, although the sanctions would be suspended if Iran halted enrichment.

Mr Mottaki was expected to suggest Europeans invest in Iran’s nuclear industry through a consortium under control of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog.

European negotiators have already rejected the idea because Iran would control potentially dangerous nuclear fuel production, but Mr Ahmadinejad said Iran would not change its position.

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