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Security Council wrong place for Iran case-Mottaki

By Staff
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BAKU, May 4: Iran's nuclear programme is a technical issue that the UN Security Council has ''politicised'' by getting involved, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki today said.

The United States, Britain and France circulated a draft resolution at the United Nations on Wednesday calling on Iran to suspend nuclear enrichment. The document will be legally binding if the Council approves it.

Speaking at a regional economic summit in Azerbaijan, Mottaki said his country's nuclear programme would be better handled by the experts at the UN nuclear watchdog.

Iran says its nuclear activities are peaceful. Washington says it believes the programme could be a front for bomb-making.

''The Security Council is a place to secure the peace of all countries,'' Mottaki told reporters in English.

''Taking the case, the Security Council is (making) a political decision and the technical issue of nuclear energy should not be politicised.'' He added: ''Definitely international bodies should not avoid and ignore the essential rights of the countries and we hope that would not happen in the Security Council.'' Mottaki was restating Tehran's long-standing opposition to its nuclear programme being referred to the Council.

Russia and China, which hold vetoes in the Council, have said they support action on Iran but want the resolution modified. They fear too much pressure would be self-defeating and precipitate an oil crisis.

French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin today said that military action was not the solution to the standoff.

The draft says countries should exercise vigilance to stop Iran obtaining nuclear-related technology and goods. Russia, which is helping Iran build a nuclear power station, has said it is opposed to any such restrictions.

REUTERS

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