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Iran says won't be bullied by US on nuclear plans

Written by: Staff

Tehran, Mar 21: Iran said today (Mar 22, 2006) it would not be bullied by the United States over its nuclear programme and was not worried that the country had been referred to the UN Security Council.

The Security Council, which can impose sanctions, is deadlocked on the wording of a statement pressing Iran to end activities that could lead to it making a nuclear weapon. Iran insists its nuclear ambitions are purely peaceful.

''We emphasise that nuclear technology and the nuclear fuel cycle is our absolute right. The nation, I and other officials will not yield to America's bullying language by any means.'' Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a televised speech.

Iran has said it wants to master technology over the whole nuclear cycle from uranium ore to fuel.

''They are threatening us with the Security Council as if the Security Council is the end of the world,'' Khamenei said in the northeastern city of Mashhad.

''We had experience of the Security Council (threats) at the time of the (Iranian) war with Iraq. Whatever is against the interest of the country we will not accept,'' he said, referring to Iran's eight-year war with its western neighbour.

The United States, Britain and France want the Security Council to spearhead the investigation of Iran's nuclear programme. Russia and China, the other two veto-wielding members of the council, want to keep focus on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) rather than the council.

The Security Council today postponed its scheduled closed-door meeting on Iran so changes could be made to the draft statement that Russia and China have refused to endorse.

No date has been set for a new meeting but the envoys said informal contacts among members would continue through the day.


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