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UN Security Council issues non-binding statement on Iran's nuclear case

United Nations, New York, March 30, IRNA-The UN Security Council on Wednesday passed a non-binding Franco-British text on Iran amid harsh US protests. The US objected to the statement saying it failed to address its demand.

Washington wanted the statement passed in a way that would prepare the ground for future punitive action, but resistance by other Council members thwarted the wishes of American officials.

With the UN Security Council's issuance of the statement, Iran's case will now be returned to the IAEA.

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council have been holding sessions since March 6 for the purpose of coming up with a text that would be acceptable to all.

At least 20 such sessions ended without any concrete result.

Britain and France, the main architects of the draft text, had to revise it four times to accommodate objections raised by certain members, principally Russia and China.

Once the statement was approved by the 15-member UN Security Council, US Ambassador and Permanent Envoy to the UN John Bolton said angrily that the Council's decision on Wednesday had been a marginal move.

He had been facing TV cameras almost everyday to speak against Iran's peaceful nuclear program, saying Iranians did not deserve having nuclear energy.

"The ball is back in Iran's court," said Bolton, adding that Tehran should decide whether its case will remain in the Council or in the IAEA.

The US ambassador, before approval of the watered down statement, passed reporters angrily and refused to answer their questions.

To minimize negative consequences of US Ambassador Bolton's nervous reaction, a staff member of the US representative office faced the reporters and promised he would later talk with them.

A CNN correspondent, who asked the American diplomat whether the arduous meetings of Security Council members to come up with the non-binding statement on Iran would eventually achieve the purpose, was met with the reply that he (Bolton) would have bought fortune tickets if he was able to predict.

Iran's extensive cooperation with the IAEA, which even went beyond legal confines, thwarted Washington's efforts and isolated it in the UN.

When asked why the second clause of the text had been omitted, Russia's UN envoy said nothing has yet been proved in Iran's case to justify a reference to the paragraph.

The second clause referred to concerns the role of the UN Security Council as enforcer of international peace and security, a clause which the US wanted desperately to be incorporated into the statement issued by the Council.

Immediately after the issuance of the statement, Iran's UN Ambassador Mohammad-Javad Zarif defended Iran's peaceful nuclear program, saying Tehran will not succumb to any pressure or intimidation.

"Iran's adherence to its commitments toward international regulations and conventions is absolute," said Zarif, adding that "such adherence does not only stem from Iran's membership in the conventions but is also due to the country's religious injunctions and historical background."

After three years of cooperation and 1,700-man inspections, the IAEA reached no other conclusion than that Iran committed no diversion in its nuclear activities which it officially announced, said the Iranian envoy, adding that if the referral to the Security Council was based on the IAEA report finding no such deviation, other countries could also be referred to the Council.

Elsewhere in the press conference, Zarif made it clear that pressure and intimidation would not work on Iran.

"Iran is immune to force and intimidation," he added.

It is ready to cooperate to find a negotiated solution to the issue but only on the condition that it is allowed to pursue its program on a regular and timely basis while allaying the fears of certain Western states on the nature of its nuclear program, he added.

Zarif said the Iranian government will study the UN Security Council statement and will give its reaction in due time.

"We will by no means compromise or give up our indisputable right. While the US has for so long been having extensive nuclear cooperation with Israel for military purposes and while Israelis have full access to the US' nuclear facilities it has excessive and unreasonable expecations from Iran as an NPT signatory," complained Zarif, adding that US double standards makes it apparent that "NPT members should be punished because of their membership while those which are not members and are flaying international commitments should be rewarded."

"We have launched extensive confidence-building measures in collaboration with the IAEA which well and clearly prove our intention to pursue peaceful nuclear programs," said the envoy when asked what guarantee Tehran would put up to prove its nuclear programs were not for military purposes.

... Payvand News - 3/30/06 ... --

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