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Iran Says UN Action Will Spark Confrontation


Iran says it will not accept any demand from the U.N. Security Council to stop its nuclear-enrichment program. The foreign ministry warns that imposing such a demand would lead to confrontation. And the Iranian parliament says it could force the government to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Iran warns it will reject any binding resolution passed by the Security Council requiring Iran to freeze its nuclear program.

Iran's foreign ministry spokesman, Hamid Reza Asefi, said any move by the Security Council would have, what he called, negative effects on Iran's cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog.

He says, Involving the Security Council and adopting incorrect decisions will change the direction of work from cooperation to confrontation.

Separately, more than half the lawmakers in Iran's hardliner-dominated parliament signed a statement saying that if the Security Council passes a binding resolution on Iran, they will call for the government to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Britain and France, in a move supported by the United States, have submitted a draft resolution to the Security Council that would require an end to Iran's uranium enrichment and reprocessing. If the measure passes, failure to comply could trigger sanctions, although those would require a second resolution.

Russia and China, the other two veto-wielding members of the Security Council, oppose sanctions against Iran and are calling for more diplomacy.

Foreign ministers from the five Security Council members plus Germany will meet in New York this week to try to reach a consensus on how to proceed.

The Iranian foreign ministry spokesman told reporters in Tehran that Iran will reject a binding resolution.

He says, "The U.N. Security Council should not adopt a decision that it cannot handle later, because we will not compromise on our rights." Suspension or pausing is not on Iran's agenda and will never be, he said, referring to Iran's uranium-enrichment program.

Iran says it is now enriching uranium to the level needed for nuclear power plants.

Iran says it only wants to create peaceful nuclear energy. The United States, Britain, and France believe it is trying to build a nuclear weapon.