Iran condemns G-8 stance over nuclear program

Iranian foreign ministry responds to statement that more sanctions may be on the way; spokesman says Teheran would welcome diplomatic solutions.

Iran Nuclear 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Iran Nuclear 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Iran has condemned a G-8 warning that it could face more sanctions over its controversial nuclear program, the country's official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. Mohamad Ali Hosseini, the spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry, said Iran welcomed diplomatic solutions "to answer questions and possible ambiguities over its peaceful nuclear program," IRNA said late Saturday. But Hosseini said the G-8 statement went against what he called the intent of the international community to work on the nuclear issue through talks and negotiation. He reiterated that Iran would not accept demands that it suspend uranium enrichment, which can be used both to generate energy and to create a nuclear weapon, before any negotiations. The Group of Eight industrialized countries said Friday they would "support adopting further measures" if Iran refused to put a halt to its uranium enrichment program. The G-8 leaders, at a summit in Germany, said they would back U.N. Security Council moves on a third set of sanctions against Iran if Tehran failed to suspend the program. On Tuesday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran's nuclear program could not be stopped, and that any Western attempt to force a halt to uranium enrichment would be like playing "with the lion's tail." The Security Council first imposed sanctions on Iran in December and modestly increased them in March over Iran's refusal to suspend enrichment. Iran says it is within its rights to pursue uranium enrichment for peaceful purposes.