Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The Daily Star - Politics - Iran feels no fear of UN sanctions over nuclear dispute

The Daily Star - Politics - Iran feels no fear of UN sanctions over nuclear dispute: "Iran feels no fear of UN sanctions over nuclear dispute

By Agence France Presse (AFP)

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

TEHRAN: A top aide to Iran's supreme leader declared on Monday that Tehran did not fear being taken to the Security Council over its nuclear program and warned that if the UN imposed an oil embargo world prices would go above $100 a barrel.

Ali Akbar Nateq-Nuri, one of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's closest advisers, dismissed as "ridiculous" some suggestions from Europe aimed at persuading Tehran to end uranium enrichment to avoid being summoned by the Security Council.

But Iranian government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh said Tehran saw "positive signals" from the three European countries - Britain, France and Germany - with whom it has been negotiating to try to close its file with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"If we had not received positive signals, we would not continue negotiations," he said.

Washington charges that Iran is using its nuclear program as a cover for efforts to develop a nuclear bomb, allegations vehemently denied by Tehran.

Tehran now has to prove to the UN's nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, that it is not pursuing the bomb or risk being hauled in front of the Security Council for possible sanctions.

Nateq-Nuri, in an interview with Iran News, said that he saw no reason to fear the United Nations.

"Since our position is logical, right and consistent with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the international law, we do not fear the Security Council," he said.

Questioned about a possible UN embargo on Tehran's oil exports, the former parliamentary speaker said: "The big loser will be them, not us.

"If an oil embargo is slapped on Iran, the price of oil will exceed $100 per barrel, with a potential to paralyze the West's economy." World oil prices are currently around $50 a barrel.

Nateq-Nuri added: "If the number two producer within OPEC is prevented from selling its oil on the international market, it would spell disaster for all consuming nations."

He said: "I believe even if we are referred to the UN Security Council, an oil embargo will not be placed on us right away.""


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