Iran says UN resolution creates 'artificial crisis'

5th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

UNITED NATIONS, May 4, 2006 (AFP) - Iran's UN envoy Javad Zarif on Thursday accused Britain and France of creating an artificial crisis with their draft UN resolution demanding a freeze on Tehran's uranium enrichment work.

UNITED NATIONS, May 4, 2006 (AFP) - Iran's UN envoy Javad Zarif on Thursday accused Britain and France of creating an artificial crisis with their draft UN resolution demanding a freeze on Tehran's uranium enrichment work.

In his first public reaction to the text circulated Wednesday, Zarif said that "if it is an attempt to get Iran to agree, it is not a good one ... Iran does not respond to threats and intimidation."

The draft demands that Iran suspend "all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, and suspend the construction of a reactor moderated by heavy water".

Invoking Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which can authorize economic sanctions or even military action as a last resort to force compliance, it calls on all states to "exercise vigilance" in preventing the transfer to Iran of equipment that could assist its nuclear and missile programs.

Zarif said the sponsors of the text sought "to create a crisis where a crisis is not needed, to create an atmosphere of tension which our region does not need and which can be avoided simply by allowing serious, reasonable, sober discussions on various proposals" on how to guarantee both Iran's right to uranium enrichment and non-proliferation.

He pledged that Tehran would do "everything possible" to ensure those two objectives but questioned the motive behind the demand for an enrichment freeze.

He noted Iran suspended enrichment for two years while it held nuclear negotiations with Britain, France and Germany that proved fruitless.

"Why for two years there was no enrichment, there was a suspension in place and nothing happened," Zarif said.

He said the suspension demand was a bid "sidetrack the actual issue", which was whether those pushing the draft "are prepared to accept the NPT (nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) or whether they want to use pick and choose elements of the NPT to their advantage and in the process destroy the non-proliferation regime."

Tehran maintains that as a signatory to the NPT it has the right to conduct enrichment and insists its nuclear ambitions are strictly peaceful.

But Washington and its European allies accuse Tehran of using its civilian program as a cover to build atomic weapons.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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