The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sanctions-hit Iran strikes back
- Brake on nuke cooperation

United Nations, March 25 (Agencies): An Iranian government spokesman said today that Tehran was partially suspending cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog agency, the IAEA, because of the latest sanctions.

“The government in a cabinet meeting today decided to suspend Code 1-3 of minor arrangements of the safeguards,” Gholam Hossein Elham, a government spokesperson, told state TV. “This will continue until Iran’s nuclear case is referred back to the IAEA from the UN Security Council.”

The code Elham referred to expected the Iranian government to inform the International Atomic Energy Agency on any new steps and decisions made in its nuclear programme.

Last night, the UN council had imposed arms and financial sanctions on Tehran.

At the same time, major powers, who drafted the resolution passed yesterday, immediately offered new talks and renewed their offer of an economic and technological incentive package.

But the sanctions would stay in place until Iran halts the enrichment of uranium and the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel, which can be used to make a bomb or to generate electricity.

Iran’s foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki told the Security Council after the unanimous vote that the council had been abused and manipulated by some of its members to take “unjustifiable action” against a peaceful nuclear programme.

“I can assure you that pressure and intimidation will not change Iranian policy,” he said. “Suspension is neither an option nor a solution.”

“The world must know —and it does — that even the harshest political and economic sanctions or other threats are far too weak to coerce the Iranian nation,” Mottaki said.

Resolution 1747 goes beyond the nuclear sphere by banning Iranian exports of conventional arms and freezing financial assets abroad of 28 individuals and entities, including state-owned Bank Sepah and the commanders of the Revolutionary Guards. Some of those affected are said to be involved in supporting militant movements abroad.

The new measures are a follow-up to a resolution adopted on December 23 banning trade in sensitive nuclear materials and ballistic missiles, as well as freezing assets of individuals and institutions associated with atomic programmes.

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said in Berlin that he would contact Ali Larijani, Iran’s main negotiator, “to see whether we can find a route to negotiations”.

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