Iran: nuclear issue goes not to UN, or no co-op 2006-01-13 15:43:21

TEHRAN, Jan. 13 (Xinhuanet) -- Iran on Friday threatened to end negotiations and cooperation with the UN inspectors on its nuclear program if the issue is sent to the UN Security Council, the official IRNA news agency reported.

"If the case dossier is referred to the Security Council, the European countries will lose the current means (to solve the Iranian nuclear issue)," Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki was quoted as saying.

He recalled a law approved by the Majlis (parliament) last November which requires the government to cease all voluntary confidence-building measures if the country's nuclear case were referred to the UN Security Council.

"The government must cease all voluntary measures of cooperation according to the law," he said.

Iran defines suspension of uranium enrichment and implementation of the additional protocol of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as voluntary measures to build confidence.

Mottaki's remarks came one day after foreign ministers of Germany, France and Britain, the so-called EU trio which has been negotiating with Tehran on nuclear issue on behalf of the bloc, held a meeting in Berlin in reaction to Iran's recent resumption of nuclear research.

During the meeting, the three ministers called for an emergency session of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to vote on referring Iran's nuclear issue to the UN Security Council,which could lead to economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, currently chairman of the powerful Expediency Council, on Thursday condemned the adoption of colonialist attitude by the countries toward Iran's nuclear program, vowing to "break down the colonial taboos against using nuclear energy peacefully."

UN chief Kofi Annan said on Thursday that Iran is still interested in talks with the EU about its nuclear program after a 40-minute telephone conversation with Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani.

Iran on Tuesday removed seals on its nuclear research sites and resumed fuel research activities under the supervision of the IAEA,incurring condemnation of the European Union, the United States and some other countries.

Russia, which has been consistently supporting Iran on its nuclear issue and aiding it with its first nuclear power plant construction, expressed disappointment and concern over Tehran's move.

Iranian Supreme Leader Seyed Ali Khamenei said on Monday that Iran would not give in under the pressure of sanctions, citing Iran's history of "self sufficiency."

"Certain states are after imposing economic sanctions on Iran through propaganda campaigns against its nuclear program. Economic sanctions on Iran could not work in the past. Instead, it encouraged the students and young scientists to work for self-sufficiency of the nation," Khamenei told a gathering.

The United States accuses Iran of developing nuclear weapons secretly, a charge rejected by Iran as politically motivated.