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Iran foreign minister slams latest UN sanctions

It gives Iran 60 days to comply with the repeated UN demands or face 'further appropriate measures'.

world Updated: Mar 25, 2007 06:32 IST

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has dismissed the UN sanctions adopted by the Security Council against Iran as "unlawful, unnecessary and unjustifiable actions" orchestrated by some of its permanent members.

"This is the fourth time in the last 12 months that in an unwarranted move orchestrated by a few of its permanent members, the Security Council is being abused to take an unlawful, unnecessary and unjustifiable action against the peaceful nuclear program of the Islamic Republic of Iran," he told the Council.

Mottaki, who arrived late for the Council session, reiterated that "Iran's nuclear programme is completely peaceful" and did not respond to an offer by the sponsors of the resolution to resume negotiations to end the standoff.

He spoke after the council's 15 members unanimously adopted a resolution expanding the sanctions imposed on Iran in December for spurning repeated demands to freeze its uranium enrichment programme.

The new resolution bans all Iranian arms exports, freezes the overseas assets of 28 additional officials and institutions linked to the Islamic Republic's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, and restricts financial aid.

It gives Iran 60 days to comply with the repeated UN demands or face "further appropriate measures" -- economic sanctions but no military action -- under Article 41 of the UN Charter.

Mottaki replaced Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who on late Friday canceled his plans to address the council, as Tehran blamed Washington for delaying his visa, a charge denied by US officials.