Iran rejects UN nuclear deadline

The Iranian president has rejected a UN security council deadline for it to suspend uranium enrichment, saying Tehran would not be pressured into stopping its nuclear programme.

    Ahmadinejad said he would not give in to the UN threats

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday that his country would not give in to the United Nations' threats.

    In a speech broadcast live on state-run television, he said: "If some think they can still speak with threatening language to the Iranian nation, they must know that they are badly mistaken.

    "My words are the words of the Iranian nation. Throughout Iran, there is one slogan: 'The Iranian nation considers the peaceful use of nuclear fuel production technology its right.'"

    The security council passed a resolution on Monday calling for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment by August 31 or face the threat of economic and diplomatic sanctions.

    'Illegal resolution'

    A spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry called the resolution "destructive" and "without legal foundation".

    Hamid Reza Asefi said in a written statement:

    "If some think they can still speak with threatening language to the Iranian nation, they must know that they are badly mistaken"

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president

    "It only pursues the political objectives of some countries.

    "It has been designed to exert pressure on Iran and block the path of dialogue through a destructive and inappropriate resolution."

    Iran's ambassador to the UN also rejected the resolution on Monday, saying it would make negotiations on an incentives package offered to Iran in June in exchange for suspending enrichment more difficult.

    Deadline

    Iran has said it would formally respond on August 22 to the incentives package, but a top Iranian lawmaker said on Tuesday that the resolution has effectively made the offer "null and void".

    Earlier on Tuesday, Japan and Russia both urged Iran to comply with the resolution.

    A Russian foreign ministry statement on Tuesday said: "We call on Iran to listen to the opinion of world society."

    The resolution would call on the UN nuclear agency to report back by August 31 on Iran's compliance with the resolution's demands.

    SOURCE: AFP


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