Iran warns against fresh sanctions

President Ahmadinejad says new UN sanctions will end prospect of future negotiations.

    The US and its allies are deeply suspicious
    about Iran's nuclear programme [AFP]

    Ahmadinejad's remarks came as the UN Security Council prepared to consult the contents of a draft resolution that would impose new sanctions on Tehran for its failure to submit to Western demands over its nuclear programme.

    UN vote

    The draft resolution - the fourth mandating sanctions against Iran - is being sponsored by the five premanant members of the Security Council: the US, Britain, France, China and Russia, and is expected to be voted on Wednesday.

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    The draft is believed to outline plans for so-called "smart sanctions" against businesses and individuals linked to Iran's nuclear enrichment programme. The resolution would also expand an existing arms embargo, and tighten restrictions on Iran’s financial and shipping industries.

    Alireza Ronaghi, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Tehran, said it that if passed, the sanctions would not have a drastic effect on the Iranian economy.

    "It's important to remember that the Iranian economy has been under sanction for 30 years now," he said. "None of the sanctions are going to choke the Iranian economy,"

    The Iranian president is hoping that his warning, made at a regional security summit in Turkey, will sow seeds of doubt in the minds of Russian and Chinese leaders, who have ensured previous drafts of the resolution were watered down, and can veto security council resolutions.

    But Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught, in Istanbul, said that there is no guarantee the strategy will work.

    "A lot of pieces are still in the air," she said. "If the main players, Russian and China, are still signed up to the idea of sanctions, then sanctions will go ahead."

    Ahmadinejad used the summit to warn Russia against coming out "beside the enemies of the Iranian people".

    He also urged Western leaders not to miss the "opportunity" presented by a fuel swap deal brokered with Turkey and Brazil last month. 

    "I hope they will put this to good use," he said. "Opportunities will not be repeated."

    Under the proposed deal, Iran would ship 1200 kilograms of enriched uranium to Turkey in return for nuclear fuel for a reactor in Tehran.

    The US and its allies have been indifferent to the proposal, saying it was not a serious offer.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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