Iran leader derides possible UN nuclear sanctions as 'illegal'

[JURIST] Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] on Saturday strongly criticized new attempts to impose UN sanctions on his country's nuclear program. Ahmadinejad was in Uganda meeting with President Yoweri Museveni when he made the comments. The Iranian leader said that actions being taken by the United States and its allies in the UN Security Council [official website] are illegal and that his country will not accept any pressure. He also said [AP report] that any evidence submitted by the United States and Britain for new UN sanctions amounted to "lies" similar to the claims made over nuclear weapons in Iraq which served as an impetus to the 2003 war. The UN Security Council has resumed [Telegraph report] meetings over a fourth round of sanctions against Iran, but the United States has indicated [Reuters report] it will impose unilateral sanctions if UN sanctions are not finalized by May.

In September, Ahmadinejad denied [JURIST report] that Iran had broken nuclear development regulations in respect to a newly-disclosed nuclear facility. The statement followed a press conference [WP report] where US, British, French, and German leaders gathered for the G-20 summit said in a joint statement [press release] that Iran had violated the terms of agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)[official website] by failing to disclose in a timely manner the existence of a nuclear facility. Under the terms [IAEA board report, PDF] of a 2003 protocol [text, PDF] to Iran's original IAEA Safeguards Agreement [text, PDF], Iran was obligated to disclose the existence of the plant prior to construction. In December 2006 the UN Security Council imposed sanctions [JURIST report] on Iran for continuing to enrich uranium and broadened them [JURIST report] three months later. The UN had previously ordered Iran to stop expanding [JURIST report] its nuclear program by August 31, 2006. Iran has said it will completely withdraw [JURIST report] from the IAEA if its "nuclear rights" are taken away.

 

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