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Sunday, August 10, 2008
War threat on Iran is a propaganda campaign: UN envoy
Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN, Aug. 2 (MNA) – Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations Mohammad Khazaii on Wednesday dismissed as a propaganda campaign rumors that the U.S. might launch a military strike on Iran’s nuclear installations.
“At the moment such an imprudent action has no supporter inside the United States,” Khazaii told the Mehr News Agency on the sidelines of the 15th meeting of Non-Aligned Movement foreign ministers in Tehran.
On July 19, Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili held talks in Geneva with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana over ending Iran’s nuclear standoff with the West.
U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns also participated in the negotiations. It was the highest level of diplomatic contact between Iran and the United States in 30 years.
Also present were representatives from the four other permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany.
Khazaii denied rumors that after the negotiations the major powers gave Iran a two-week time to answer calls to rein in its nuclear program or face “punitive measures”.
“Nuclear negotiations will continue but at the moment we cannot say whether the Security Council will hold a meeting on Iran’s nuclear issue,” he stated.
Russia, China, the United States, Britain, France, and Germany last month offered Iran an updated package of incentives in return for a halt to Tehran’s uranium enrichment program.
The package, which is a follow-up of an original proposal in 2006, offers nuclear cooperation and wider trade in aircraft, energy, high technology, and agriculture.
The Islamic Republic has also presented its own package of proposals on ways to address international challenges, including the threat of nuclear proliferation, and has said it has found common ground between the two separate packages.
Iran has repeatedly ruled out suspending uranium enrichment as a precondition for talks with the major powers and has said it will hold talks “only on common points”.
The United Nations has so far imposed three rounds of sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Khazaii accused certain Western powers of playing politics on Iran’s nuclear dossier, saying, “Some countries which have special status in the international community are making strenuous efforts to weaken the International Atomic Energy Agency in order to pursue their illegal objectives.”
He also said the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions against Iran is not “mandatory”. “The Security Council has so far issued hundreds of resolutions which different countries do not abide by.”
“Tens of resolutions have been issued against Israel but this regime has not observed any of them… Whatever the Security Council issues under political pressure should not necessarily be implemented… Iran’s constructive and powerful role in the region cannot be easily ignored and we do not accept a decision that some countries have made.”
----------Permanent seat for Islamic states
Elsewhere in his remarks, Khazaii said Iran is discussing a proposal at Organization of the Islamic Countries that the Islamic states be given a permanent seat at the UN Security Council.
“This issue should be pursued in coordination with other Islamic states at the United Nations. Islamic nations should have a loudspeaker at the international venues. Currently three Islamic countries of Indonesia, Libya, and Burkina Faso are sitting on the Security Council but Indonesia’s term will end in October.”
Iran is also seeking to gain a non-permanent seat at the Security Council as the representative of Asia in the upcoming vote at the United Nations in a bid to show to the world that the Security Council’s structure needs amendment, he stated.
UN non-permanent members are elected by the General Assembly for a two-year term starting on January 1, with five replaced each year. The members are chosen by regional groups and confirmed by the UN General Assembly.
“It is not logical that the permanent members which are five countries have the authority to take certain actions. This structure should be revised,” Khazaii commented.
BA/PA END MN