News / Middle East

Iran: Sanctions Resolution Basis for Confrontation

Iran's foreign minister has warned that a move toward new international sanctions against his country is a basis for confrontation.

Manouchehr Mottaki says a new sanction resolution would "kill" the deal made with Turkey and Brazil to ship out 1.2 tons of its uranium in exchange for nuclear fuel.

Iran refused to accept a deal brokered last October by the International Atomic Energy Agency, but recently agreed to the deal with Turkey and Brazil.

The foreign minister also said there are two options for resolving the Iran nuclear dispute. He said one is based on cooperation and confidence building and the other is based on confrontation.  

He spoke Wednesday during a speech to a policy group in Brussels.

Mottaki also did not rule out the option to enrich uranium within Iran, even if the deal with Turkey and Brazil moves ahead.  

The United Nations nuclear agency says Iran still would have enough uranium to produce a nuclear weapon after further enrichment.

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia - have approved a draft resolution for a fourth round of U.N. sanctions against Iran because of its refusal to stop enriching uranium.     

A restricted report by the IAEA says Iran is currently enriching uranium at close to 20 percent purity, with 90 percent enrichment needed to make nuclear weapons.  

The IAEA says Iran is continuing to stockpile nuclear material and is preparing equipment to enrich uranium to higher levels.  Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

White House National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer said the U.N. report underscores Iran's refusal to comply with the international requirements needed for negotiations on its nuclear program.

A small group of European Union lawmakers protested Mottaki's visit.  British lawmaker Struan Stevenson shouted "murderer" at the Iranian foreign minister while holding a picture of Neda Agha-Soltan, an Iranian woman who was shot and killed during a post-election protest in Tehran last June.

 

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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