Iran rejects UN sanctions because of nuclear defiance as invalid

A senior Iranian envoy on Friday rejected UN sanctions on his country as invalid, and accused the US of using unfounded scare tactics in insisting Teheran was trying to develop a nuclear weapon. The comments by Ali Asghar Soltanieh, the chief Iranian delegate to the International Atomic Energy Agency, were made available to The Associated Press before delivery at the closing session of the IAEA's 35-nation board as it focused on an agency investigation of the Islamic Republic's nuclear program and its defiance of a UN Security Council ban on uranium enrichment. Soltanieh on Thursday called on the Security Council to close the file on his country's nuclear activities, saying Iran was close to dispelling fears about its intentions that have prompted sanctions. In comments Friday, he said Security Council resolutions demanding a stop to the activity - a possible path to nuclear weapons - have "no legal basis," accusing Washington of making "a political issue" of what he maintained was Teheran's peaceful nuclear program by falsely warning of the "threat of Iran's plutonium nuclear weapon."