Iranian FM defends atomic program

Mottaki reportedly sends open letter to counterparts the world over, says sanctions undiplomatic.

Mottaki 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
Mottaki 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
The Iranian foreign minister said in an open letter to sent to counterparts the world over that Washington's unilateral sanctions on Teheran go against diplomatic efforts to resolve remaining issues over the Islamic country's disputed nuclear activities, media reported Tuesday. "Unilateral sanctions are obviously in contradiction to claims of pursuing diplomatic solutions," Manouchehr Mottaki, the foreign minister, was quoted as saying on the Web site of Iran's state broadcasting company. Mottaki said that it wasn't "justified to talk about negotiations on one hand while threatening and pressuring Iran on the other hand." The Iranian official also said the US imposition last month of unilateral sanctions against his country was "illegal." The report neither said when Mottaki's letter was sent nor if it was addressed also to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. In the letter, Mottaki reiterated that Iran's nuclear program was peaceful and claimed that a report last week by the UN nuclear watchdog agency proved accusations that Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons "baseless." Mottaki said Teheran had answered all the questions by the International Atomic Energy Agency and made progress in cooperating with it. The IAEA report had concluded Iran had been generally truthful about key aspects of its nuclear history, but also warned that its knowledge of Teheran's present atomic work was shrinking. It also stressed Teheran continued to defy the Security Council by ignoring its repeated demands to freeze uranium enrichment. The US and its allies have pledged to push for new UN sanctions unless Iran suspends enrichment and provides a full and detailed disclosure of past suspicious nuclear activities. Mottaki said the IAEA has complete supervision of Iran's uranium enrichment program. Two rounds of UN sanctions have failed to persuade Iran to halt the uranium enrichment, a technology that can be used to produce nuclear fuel to generate electricity or fissile material for a warhead.