U.N. Security Council gives Iran 30 days to stop uranium enrichment
The U.N. Security Council demanded late Wednesday that Tehran suspend uranium enrichment. Iran rejected the demand, saying it has the right to nuclear power.
"Pressure and threats do not work with Iran. Iran is a country that is allergic to pressure and to threats and intimidation," Iranian Ambassador Javad Zarif said. According to the AP, he later added that "Iran insists on its right to have access to nuclear technology for explicitly peaceful purposes. We will not abandon that claim to our legitimate right."
The 15-nation council unanimously approved a statement calling the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, to report back in 30 days on Iran's compliance with the demand to stop enriching uranium.
It should be noted that the statement is not legally binding. The Security Council could eventually impose economic sanctions, though Russia and China oppose such measures.
"The council is expressing its clear concern and is saying to Iran that it should comply with the wishes of the governing board," France's U.N Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere said.
Members of the council wanted to reach a deal before Thursday, when foreign ministers from the five veto-wielding council members and Germany meet in Berlin to discuss strategy on Iran.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called the statement an "important diplomatic step" that showed the international community's concern about Iran.
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- El Baradei opens IAEA meeting, group to discuss security council referral, possible deadline for Iran
- Iran says UNSC members should defend legitimate right on nuclear issue