iran nuke plant 298.88.
(photo credit: AP)
Washington's policy on Iran's controversial nuclear program could lead to international anarchy, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said Sunday, adding there was no reason to send Tehran to the United Nations Security Council.
Hamid Reza Asefi accused US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of being determined to see Iran hauled before the Security Council for possible sanctions over Iran's nuclear program, which Washington claims is aimed to make atomic bombs but Tehran says it is for the peaceful generation of electricity.
"Trust could only be sustained based on the implementation of international regulations and not on self-served interpretation," Asefi said. "The latter could create international anarchy."
"It is clear to us that Rice and her country are trying to lead Iran's case (to the UN Security Council) and away from the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency)," he said.
Iran has repeatedly voice a willingness to return to negotiations with European mediators over its nuclear program, but not to drop what it calls its right to full nuclear know-how as provided under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which it is a signatory to.
Russia rejected recent Rice overtures to have Iran referred to the Security Council, with Moscow wanting the issue dealt with by the UN's nuclear watchdog, the IAEA.
Despite the Russian rejection, the top US envoy said the Security Council option remains open "at a time of our choosing."
But Asefi rejected Rice's stance, saying: "There is no legal justification for referring Iran's case to the Security Council."
Washington and its European allies Germany, Britain and France are waiting to see if a defiant Iran will return to diplomatic talks over its disputed nuclear program. If not, they say they will invoke the threat of economic penalties or other punishment from the Security Council.
Even though the four Western countries won a vote at the IAEA to send Iran before the Security Council last month, it is not clear whether any tough measure would ensue.
Veto-holding Security Council members Russia and China have said they do not want to see the Iranian case referred.
Asefi reiterated that Iran has nothing to fear from the Security Council, presumably out of confidence that Russia and China would veto such any referral to it. The IAEA next takes up the Iran question Nov. 24.
After the last month's IAEA vote, US officials insisted that Security Council referral for possible punishment was inevitable without a major turnabout from Iran.
Britain, France and Germany have led two years of on-and-off talks with Iran over ending disputed portions of its nuclear program in exchange for economic incentives. Iranian officials rejected a proposed deal that would have kept some parts of the nuclear energy process off limits to them.