Iran defies possible UNSC referral

Straw: Military action not an option, SEcurity Council sanctions possible.

iran nuke plant 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
iran nuke plant 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Iran vowed Friday to end all voluntary cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog if it is referred to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions over its controversial nuclear program. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Europeans will lose opportunities they currently have in dealing with Iran and Tehran would block snap inspections of its nuclear facilities, state-run television reported. "In case Iran is referred to the UN Security Council ..., the government will be obliged to end all of its voluntary cooperation," the television quoted Mottaki as saying. The statement reflected a law passed late last year that requires the government to block intrusive inspections of Iran's facilities if the UN nuclear agency refers the Iranian program to the UN Security Council. Straw said Friday that Iran could face UN Security Council sanctions for resuming its nuclear activities, but that military action is not being considered. In an interview with British Broadcasting Corp. radio, Straw said, "Obviously, if Iran failed to comply, the Security Council would then consider sanctions." Asked about the possibility of an attack on Iran, he said, "No one is talking about invading Iran or taking military action against Iran." On Thursday, Straw had said it was "highly probable" that Iran will be referred to the UN Security Council because of its nuclear program. Later that day, Straw traveled to Berlin discuss the issue with the foreign ministers of Germany and France and they announced that nuclear talks with Iran had reached a dead end after more than two years of acrimonious negotiations and the issue should be referred to the UN Security Council.