Iran confident of escaping UNSC referral

Iran's Foreign Minister said there was only a "weak" chance of his country being referred to the UNSC over its disputed N-programme.

india Updated: Jan 18, 2006 16:12 IST

Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Wednesday there was only a "weak" chance of his country being referred to the UN Security Council over its disputed nuclear programme.

"Taking into account the current context, the possibility of Iran's case being sent to the Security Council is weak," he was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA.

He nevertheless warned Britain, France and Germany -- which are pushing for Iran's case to be sent to New York -- not to take any "hasty steps".

"I hope the Europeans have understood Iran's very clear and direct message and do not make any hasty decision... Which would complicate the situation for all sides," he said.

Iran's decision to resume sensitive nuclear fuel research has intensified fears that the clerical regime is seeking the bomb. The country insists it only wants to make reactor fuel to generate electricity.

Another official also repeated the threat that if Iran is referred to the Security Council, UN inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency would lose their current level of access to the Islamic republic's nuclear facilities and Iran would resume full-scale uranium enrichment work -- which remains frozen for the time being.

Enrichment makes reactor fuel, but can be extended to make the core of a nuclear weapon.

"If our case goes to the Security Council, whether as a simple warning, to reinforce the head of the IAEA or even to decide on sanctions, the government will be obliged to put an end to it suspension of activities," national security spokesman Hossein Entezami told the government newspaper Iran.

First Published: Jan 18, 2006 16:12 IST