Tehran, 25 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki today dismissed as "unacceptable" a new resolution by the United Nations atomic agency criticizing Tehran's nuclear program and threatening referral to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.
Mottaki told Iran's official IRNA news agency Tehran will not give up its right to pursue peaceful nuclear technology. But he said Iran is willing to return to negotiations over its nuclear program, which Western countries fear is being used to develop weapons of mass destruction.
"We do not believe in unlawful actions and are not obliged to follow the additional protocol [on IAEA inspections], but we are committed to the nonproliferation treaty. So, we are ready to negotiate with different countries, and it is natural for Iran to enlist new countries within its list of negotiating countries."
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) yesterday passed a resolution stating Tehran will be referred to the Security Council if it fails to alter its nuclear policy. The referral wouldn't happen until at least November, when IAEA chief Muhammad el-Baradei delivers his next report on Iran.
Twenty-two of the 35 IAEA member-states voted in favor of the resolution. China -- which abstained from the vote -- today called on the European Union and Iran to resume negotiations on the issue without referring the matter to the UN Security Council.
(international agencies/Radio Farda)
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