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Spokesman: No legal basis for new UN sanctions against Iran

By Xinhua

Tehran : Iranian government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham said on Saturday that there is no legal basis for new UN Security Council sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

He made the remarks one day after International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei circulated his latest report on Iran’s nuclear program to the Agency’s Board of Governors.

What was said in the report once more indicated that “referring of Iran to the UN Security Council was a political move which lacked legal basis,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Elham assaying.

Elham reiterated that Tehran believed “the only legitimate and official center to study Iran nuclear issue is the IAEA which has now verified the peaceful nature of Iran nuclear activities.”

Criticizing Washington’s attitude toward ElBaradei’s report, Elham said, “As they have repeatedly showed in the past, they have no respect for the agency’s report and disregard its technical and legal aspects.”

The UN nuclear watchdog said on Friday Iran had clarified the majority of open issues in its nuclear programs but the agency was still unable to give a definite verdict on Tehran’s nuclear ambitions as the progress is not enough.

Western countries accused Iran of using a civilian nuclear program as a cover to develop nuclear weapons, a charge repeatedly denied by Tehran.

The UN Security Council has adopted two resolutions– one in December 2006 and the other in March of 2007– in attempts to force Iran to suspend uranium enrichment activities and to give up its nuclear programs.

France, Britain and Germany formally introduced to the UN Security Council Thursday a draft resolution that calls for further sanctions against Iran over its refusal to suspend sensitive nuclear enrichment activities.

Iran has downplayed the effect of possible new sanctions, saying Tehran would show a “serious and logical reaction” if the UN Security Council issues a third resolution.