First Published: 2006-02-01

 
Iran poised to retaliate against UN referral
 

Ahmadinejad vows his country will continue on the road to victory, labels Bush warmonger who should be put on trial.

 

Middle East Online

By Stefan Smith - TEHRAN

Defiant to the pressure

Iran said Wednesday it was poised to retaliate against the reporting of its disputed nuclear programme to the Security Council by kick-starting sensitive fuel work and blocking UN inspections.

In a barrage of threats that raise the stakes in the long-running dispute, firebrand President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also vowed his country would "continue on the road to victory" and labelled US President George W. Bush a warmonger who should be put on trial.

"If Iran's case is referred or reported to the Security Council ... Iran's cooperation will decrease," top national security official Ali Larijani told a news conference.

"The government will be obliged to remove suspensions, which includes industrial-scale enrichment, and it will do so," he said, asserting that a massive enrichment plant at Natanz in central Iran was "ready for operation".

"Inspections will be restricted. They will not have the right to go to military sites which we had so far allowed them to go to. Some of their cameras will be taken down," Larijani said of the now three-year-old International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) investigation of the country.

Iran says it only wants to enrich uranium to make reactor fuel, but the process can be extended to make weapons-grade material. Tehran prompted the current crisis by resuming enrichment research on January 10.

The warnings came as world powers including Russia agreed on a draft IAEA resolution that would report Iran to the Security Council, which has the power to impose sanctions.

The Vienna-based IAEA's 35-nation board is to consider the resolution on Thursday.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Iran should "see this agreed position by the leaders of the international community not as a threat but as ... a final opportunity for Iran to put itself back on track".

But Larijani said Iran "does not see any rationale to stop nuclear fuel research, even for one day" -- ruling out the one move that could save it from ending up in New York.

"Those who possess stocks of nuclear arms meet together and take decisions and think that the Iranian people will submit to their decisions," Ahmadinejad fumed earlier in a speech in the south of the country.

"Our people will not bow to a few tyrannical countries who think they are the whole world," said Ahmadinejad, accusing world powers of treating Iranians like "a second-rate people with no culture".

He also lashed out at US President George W. Bush, who in his State of the Union address branded the Islamic republic "a nation now held hostage by a small clerical elite that is isolating and repressing its people".

"You who support the Zionist puppet regime, you who support the destruction of Palestinian homes, you have no right to talk about liberty or human rights," shouted Ahmadinejad, who has already called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" or moved as far away as Alaska.

"God willing, in the near future we will judge you in a people's tribunal," he said of Bush.

Larijani also appeared to be bracing for an escalation of the crisis, saying Iran was no longer even insisting on having more time for negotiation "because we have prepared ourselves for another scenario".

He said his talks earlier Wednesday with Russian and Chinese deputy foreign ministers also failed to bear fruit: "They had a point of view on solving the issue, but we had a different point of view."

"The last time they talked of sanctions, the price of oil increased," he said of the threat of tough UN action, adding: "Do not play with the national pride of Iranians. The situation will change and your interests in the region will be in danger."

In recent weeks Iran has been brandishing its close links with the Palestinian militant group Hamas, Lebanon's Hezbollah and firebrand Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr.

"Any aggression against Iran's peaceful nuclear installations will receive an extremely quick and destructive response from the armed forces," Iran's Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar also warned.

The warning came just days after the head of the Revolutionary Guards also issued a reminder that Iran had ballistic missiles capable of hitting Israel and US bases in the region.

Iran claims it is cooperating fully with an IAEA investigation, although the latest IAEA report shows Tehran refusing to give agency inspectors all the information or interviews they want and possessing a document whose only use would be in making nuclear weapons.

Larijani played down the importance of the document, saying it "can be found on the Internet".

 

Iraqi Kurds may postpone referendum in return for concessions

Assad says no Syria ties for countries backing rebels

Rouhani says top priority is protecting nuclear deal from US

Iraqi-Arab Gulf rapprochement makes headway

In Egypt, Syrian refugees recreate Syria

In African tour, Sisi seeks to rebuild ties, address security and water concerns

Syria’s transition scenarios for future rounds of talks

Dubai real estate market sets the pace for renewed growth in the GCC

German-Turkish intellectual held at Ankara’s request

Jordan’s municipal elections marred by deaths, riots

Russia doubts IS claim of stabbing attack in northern city

Turkey slams 'arrogant' German reaction to Erdogan poll call

Police confirm Finland 'terror attack'

Spain hunts suspects as IS claims attack

Aid project helps Syria refugees feel at home in Jordan

Lebanese army launches anti-IS offensive on Syria border

UN demands access to Yemen ports

Low-cost attacks a new reality for Europeans

Forces of Libya's Haftar say commander wanted by ICC in detention

Yemen rebels urged to free political commentator

Iranian footballer breaks silence over ban for playing Israelis

Erdogan meddles in German politics

IS fighters almost encircled in Syrian desert

For Israel, White House ties trump neo-Nazis and antisemitism

Israel freezes implementation of settlement law

Saudi Arabia installing cranes at Yemen ports

13 dead, 100 injured in two Spanish seaside city attacks

Iran reform leader ends hunger strike

Van ploughs through pedestrians in Barcelona terror attack

13 killed in Barcelona van attack

Iraq acknowledges abuses in Mosul campaign

Netanyahu under fire for response to US neo-Nazism

Israel to free high-profile suspects in money laundering probe

Spanish police shut down jet-ski migrant smugglers

Syrian actress, activist Fadwa Suleiman dies in Paris

Israeli court extends detention for Islamic cleric over ‘incitement’

UAE to provide $15 million a month to Gaza

Sudan's Bashir 'satisfied' with Nile dam project

US-backed rebels say American presence in Syria to last ‘decades’

Tunisian clerics oppose equal inheritance rights for women

Israel strikes almost 100 Hezbollah arms convoys in 5 years

UN hopes for eighth round of Syria talks before year’s end

LONG READ: How Syria continues to evade chemical weapons justice

Civilians killed in US-led raids on Raqa

Qatari pilgrims begin flooding into Saudi by land