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Iran denounces U.N. sanctions as illegal

Story Highlights

• Iran accuses U.N. of failing to act on Israel's nuclear arsenal
• Iran's parliamentary speaker warns Iran's relationship with IAEA could change
• Iran failed to comply with U.N. deadline to suspend uranium enrichment
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TEHRAN, Iran (Reuters) -- Iran condemned the U.N. Security Council resolution imposing sanctions on Iran's nuclear work on Saturday as an illegal measure outside the council's jurisdiction.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told state-run television the resolution "cannot affect or limit Iran's peaceful nuclear activities but will discredit the decisions of the Security Council, whose power is deteriorating."

The resolution, which the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved, imposed sanctions on Iran's trade in sensitive nuclear materials and ballistic missiles in an attempt to get Tehran to halt uranium enrichment work. (Watch why Iran won't end its nuclear program Video)

Iran also accused the U.N. Security Council of pursuing a double standard in imposing sanctions on what it said was Tehran's peaceful nuclear program while ignoring Israel's nuclear arsenal.

"It is indisputable that nuclear weapons in the hands of the Israeli regime with an unparalleled record of noncompliance with Security Council resolutions ... poses a uniquely grave threat to regional and international peace and security," Iranian U.N. Ambassador Javad Zarif told the 15-nation council.

Earlier Saturday, Iran's parliamentary speaker said parliament would alter Iran's relationship with the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, if the U.N. Security Council issued sanctions against Iran.

"If they intend to deprive the Iranian nation of its certain right to nuclear technology by a resolution ... parliament will reconsider the nature of its relationship with the [International Atomic Energy Agency]," Parliament Speaker Gholamali Haddadadel told state television.

Haddadadel said if the pressure mounts on Iran, parliament will have to discuss a plan, approved by the parliament's national security committee, that wants a serious reconsideration in Iran's relation with the IAEA.

He did not elaborate on the contents of the bill and how it was meant to alter Iran's relationship with the IAEA. Parliament has already banned IAEA snap inspections in February in response to its nuclear case referral to the U.N. Security Council.

However, the head of parliament's national security committee Alaeddin Boroujerdi said on Saturday that Iran was not interested in quitting the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) despite possible sanctions.

"Since Iran seriously opposes building nuclear weapons it is not interested in signing out from such an important matter in international aspect," Boroujerdi was quoted by Iran's student news agency ISNA as saying.

The U.N. resolution is a reaction to Iran's failure to comply with an August 31 U.N. deadline to suspend uranium enrichment work and resume negotiations.

It is under Article 41 of Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which makes enforcement mandatory but restricts action to nonmilitary measures.

It would suspend sanctions if Tehran in turn suspended "all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development." Iran has vowed to continue its nuclear work regardless of the sanctions.

Copyright 2006 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Iranian Ambassador to the U.N. Javad Zarif on Saturday accuses the U.N. Security Council of using a double standard.




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