AFP: A defiant Iran said Saturday it would not give up uranium enrichment a day after six world powers in London agreed to push towards a third round of UN sanctions if the nuclear stand-off persisted.
TEHRAN (AFP) A defiant Iran said Saturday it would not give up uranium enrichment a day after six world powers in London agreed to push towards a third round of UN sanctions if the nuclear stand-off persisted.
“We welcome offers to participate in the uranium enrichment in other countries, but if these offers include the condition of a halt of enrichment in Iran, then it is not acceptable,” deputy supreme national security council head Javad Vaeedi was quoted as saying by the official news agency IRNA.
“All of our endurance was done to preserve our right in enriching uranium,” he added.
The “E3” of Britain, France and Germany, plus the United States, Russia and China, backed the drive for a third UN Security Council resolution and vote on Iran, unless upcoming reports showed “a positive outcome”.
“While we are fulfilling our international duties, we are not expecting punishment,” Vaeedi added.
“Passing resolution will not have a desirable outcome, and the countries who are talking about resolutions and sanctions are those who are not satisfied with Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) cooperations,” he said.
Foreign ministers of the six powers decided in late September they would wait for the IAEA’s Mohamed ElBaradei and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana’s reports before deciding on whether to push for a third round of UN sanctions.
Iran and agreed on a timetable in August for Tehran to provide answers to outstanding questions over its nuclear programme.
The IAEA has been probing Iran’s programme for the past four years but has so far failed to conclude whether it is peaceful or not.
Iran has rejected Western charges that Tehran is trying to build atomic weapons under the guise of its civilian nuclear programme.
The Security Council has passed two rounds of sanctions to force Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, which can be used to supply the fuel for power generation or for nuclear arms.