Iran refuse to budge on UN demand

Updated: 2007-02-22 08:43


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad refused to suspend the country's uranium enrichment activities on Tuesday, just one day before a UN Security Council deadline which demanded Tehran to do so or may face more severe sanctions.[Reuters]
Iran on Wednesday defied a UN deadline for the Islamic Republic to suspend its uranium enrichment and vowed to continue its controversial nuclear program.

Amid the defiance, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei is due to make a report that is widely expected to confirm Tehran's refusal to halt enrichment.

Last December, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1737,imposing sanctions on Iran's nuclear and missile programs. It also set a deadline, due on Wednesday, for Tehran to suspend its enrichment activities or face further sanctions.

"We will continue all plans to achieve progress with full power and strength," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in the city of Siahkal in northern Gilan province, the official IRNA news agency reported.

He said that access to the full nuclear fuel cycle will move forward the Iranian nation by 50 years, according to the news agency.

IRNA reported earlier that Ahmadinejad made similar remarks at a public rally in the town of Amlash, also in Gilan province, vowing that "Iran will not retreat one iota in its path to nuclear victory."

The Iranian president said that Iran would continue to walk in the nuclear path "powerfully and wisely" until it reaches ultimate success.

"Today, there are those who are against Iran's access to peaceful nuclear technology and are trying to put obstacles in our nuclear path in order to prevent us from exercising our rights with the grace of the God," Ahmadinejad said.

But "their only option is to maintain their friendship and respect for the Iranian nation," he said.

Ahmadinejad said that those who oppose Iran's peaceful nuclear program know that if Iran achieves nuclear power, other countries will also move in this direction.

"And then they can no longer maintain their monopoly," he said. While stressing its right to push ahead with its nuclear program in defiance of the UN deadline, Iran has made diplomatic efforts to affirm its readiness to negotiate over its nuclear issue.

The dispute should be resolved peacefully through a "diplomatic solution," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters Wednesday in Istanbul at the end of his two-day visit to Turkey.

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