Reuters: Iran said on Tuesday any new international sanctions against it would not succeed in forcing the country to halt its nuclear program, which the West suspects is aimed at making bombs. TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran said on Tuesday any new international sanctions against it would not succeed in forcing the country to halt its nuclear program, which the West suspects is aimed at making bombs.
Government spokesman Gholamhossein Elham spoke ahead of a meeting in Berlin on Tuesday of foreign ministers from major powers to discuss a possible third U.N. Security Council resolution against Iran for its refusal to halt enrichment.
Iran, the world’s fourth-largest crude exporter, says its nuclear program is aimed at generating electricity so that it can export more of its oil and gas.
“The Iranian nation moves in the framework of its legitimate and legal rights … and a possible ratification of a new resolution will not have an impact on our nation’s behavior,” Elham said.
“I doubt that members of the U.N. Security Council would repeat such unprincipled behavior that would weaken the credibility of this institution and would harm the International Atomic Energy Agency,” he said.
Iran says it is cooperating with the Vienna-based U.N. nuclear watchdog to clear up suspicions about its atomic activities and that there is no justification for the Security Council to interfere.
Ahead of the meeting of foreign ministers in Berlin from the five permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany, diplomats played down prospects for agreement on new sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Russian and Chinese opposition to tougher sanctions has hardened since a U.S. intelligence report last month said Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and the powers remain divided over how far a new resolution should go.
Enriched uranium can be used to make fuel for power plants or, if refined much further, provide material for bombs.
(Reporting by Hossein Jaseb and Zahra Hosseinian; Writing by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Richard Williams)