January 23, 2008

Ahmadinejad Terms Fresh UNSC Resolution Ineffective

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday that any future UN Security Council resolution on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program would be ineffective.

"They should know that such illegal behavior will be ineffective against the will of the Iranian people," Ahmadinejad told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting and in reaction to the outcome of Tuesday's meeting of six major powers over Tehran's nuclear issue.

In Berlin on Tuesday, the five permanent UN Security Council members - China, France, Russia, Britain and the United States - plus Germany agreed on the text of a new resolution to be presented for a vote in the coming weeks.

Ahmadinejad further denounced a US-brokered accord yesterday to tighten United Nations penalties, saying Iran will press on with nuclear activities undeterred by "ineffective" sanctions.

" Such illegal undertakings will have no effect on Iranians' determination and we will continue our path in seeking our nation's rights within the framework of international laws," Ahmadinejad added.

Meeting in Berlin yesterday, foreign ministers from the five veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council outlined a new resolution that build on measures taken in December 2006 and March 2007. The contents of the new proposal weren't made public.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the new draft envisages direct talks with Tehran that would include the United States. Lavrov added that the draft resolution envisions measures, and not sanctions, against Tehran.

In Brussels today, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, accused the US of playing up a "routine operation" and said Iran "has never sought a confrontation with the US, anywhere or in the Strait of Hormuz."

Jalili will meet this evening with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

Speaking through an official translator at a European Parliament committee, Jalili, Iran's chief nuclear envoy, stressed Iran's peaceful intentions and said nuclear weapons aren't part of its defense doctrine.

Iran is relying on Russian fuel for that power plant, and explains the nuclear enrichment program as a way of producing home-grown fuel for 19 other reactors it plans to build. Iran will need years to produce enough fuel for just one plant, Jalili said.

Russia yesterday made a fifth shipment of nuclear fuel to an Iranian reactor at Bushehr that is scheduled to start producing electricity in 2008.

China has also balked at a hard-line policy toward Iran, and China Petrochemical Corp. in December signed a $2 billion accord to exploit Iran's Yadavaran oil field as a way of fueling the rapidly growing Chinese economy.

A recent report by Energy Tribune said that many European oil giants have also defied US pressures and are decisive to continue with their projects in Iran.

As a result, the EU and US governments are left alone. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said Jan. 21. European banks have already cut back on loans to Iran under US pressure. But Italian banks have defied US pressures and are going on with their relations with Iran.

Noting that other countries are eager to do business with Iran, Jalili said sanctions will only cut off American and European companies from the Iranian market.

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