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Monday, October 30, 2006

United Nations sanctions will hurt others: Iran

Iran said today sanctions the United Nations might impose over the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme would cause problems for the country but would hurt others too.
Iran faces possible sanctions for failing to shelve its uranium enrichment plans as demanded by the UN Security Council. The West says Iran is developing the technology to build atomic bombs, despite Tehran's denials.

A draft sanctions resolution has been drawn up by European states but Russia has expressed misgivings about the proposal.

''Such issues (sanctions) will not impose major harm on us. It will of course create problems but the problems will be on both sides,'' government spokesman Gholamhossein Elham said.
Elham said sanctions would not just affect Iran.

''Harm will be inflicted on others too. They should pay attention and not fall into the trap that some of the powers, like America, have prepared,'' he told a news conference.
The proposed resolution would ban most nuclear and missile cooperation with Iran. Assistance to Iran from the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog, would be limited to medical or humanitarian matters.

The United States, which has not had diplomatic relations with Tehran since shortly after the 1979 Islamic revolution, has sought to toughen the measures.
''We don't welcome tension but any measure which moves towards restrictions will receive a decisive and appropriate answer from the Iranian nation,'' President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a rally near Tehran, Iran's IRNA news agency reported.

He did not give details about a possible Iranian response, but Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, has said Iran might halt the IAEA's routine inspections of Iran's atomic facilities.
The president also insisted Iran would not back away from its right to nuclear technology. ''No one has the right to retreat from this obvious right of Iran,'' the president said.

Iran last week started up a second network of 164 centrifuges, which can be used to enrich uranium to make fuel for nuclear power plants or material for bombs. Iran is now running two such networks, known as cascades.

It would need thousands of centrifuges running non-stop for months to yield enough highly-enriched uranium for one atom bomb. Analysts say Iran is at least three years away from that.


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