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Ahmadinejad Says UN Security Council Has 'No Legitimacy'

March 15, 2007 -- Amid reports that world powers are expected later today to present the Security Council with a new set of sanctions against Iran for its failure to suspend uranium enrichment, Iran's president says the Security Council has "no legitimacy" in enforcing its resolutions.

At a rally in central Iran today, Mahmud Ahmadinejad reiterated his stance that UN and Western pressure could not stop Iran from acquiring nuclear technology, and referred to any UN resolution as a "torn piece of paper."

Ahmadinejad's statements came after the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said diplomats from the the five permanent, veto-holding Security Council members -- the United States, Russia, France, China, and Britain -- and Germany have reached "an agreement in principle" on a proposed new set of Security Council sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.

Acting U.S. Ambassador Alejandro Wolff said the proposed package of sanctions must still receive final confirmation from the governments of the six powers.

Diplomats said a draft sanctions resolution was expected to be introduced into the full 15-member Security Council later today.

Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the draft text had "by and large" been agreed.

Reports say the proposed new sanctions would include a ban on Iranian conventional arms exports to penalize Iran for refusing to halt uranium enrichment.

(AP, AFP, Reuters)

Copyright (c) 2007. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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