Referral to UNSC end of diplomacy: Iran
Tehran has also warned several times of an oil crisis if sanctions were imposed against Iran, the world's fourth biggest oil producer.india Updated: Jan 31, 2006 21:52 IST
The referral of the Iranian nuclear case to the UN Security Council by the EU and the US would mean the end of diplomacy on the issue, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said on Tuesday.
"We consider referral to the UN Security Council as the end of diplomacy, and this is definitely not positive," Larijani told Khabar news network.
"The Europeans should be more careful as they might start this process but they might not be the one to end it."
Iran has warned that if its controversial nuclear programme is referred to the Security Council, Tehran would implement a parliamentary bill it passed last year and suspend all cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The suspension would include IAEA inspections and other issues relating to the UN nuclear watchdog's additional protocol that was introduced to ensure that no new countries acquire nuclear weapons.
Tehran has also warned several times of an oil crisis if sanctions were imposed against Iran, the world's fourth biggest oil producer.
"It would be a disgrace for an organisation like the IAEA to refer a member-country to the UN Security Council just because that country wants to avail itself of its right to pursue peaceful nuclear technology," Larijani said.
He again stressed that "the doors for diplomacy are still open" and called on the West to choose a wise approach, and not a hostile one, to bring the nuclear dispute to an end.
Iran's Vice President Gholam-Reza Aqazadeh told ISNA news agency earlier on Tuesday that "the West has no justification for the referral and considering the transparent Iranian cooperation with the IAEA, the Europeans will have legal problems to pursue the referral."
The comments from Aqazadeh, also head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation, follow the surprising united front shown Monday by Britain, China, France, Russia and the US, who are the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, and Germany and the EU.
The group signalled that it supported bringing Iran before the Security Council with the possible consequence of sanctions.
Prior to Monday's agreement in London, Russia and China, both permanent members of the Security Council with the associated power of veto, had been reluctant to commit to referring Iran to the UN.
The governing board of IAEA has a special session slated for Thursday to consider the matter.