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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran set to carry on with nuclear program despite new sanctions

RIA Novosti

16/03/2007 12:28 TEHRAN, March 16 (RIA Novosti) - Iran will proceed with its civilian nuclear energy research program despite new possible economic sanctions against the Middle East country, the Iranian president said Friday.

A new draft resolution of the 15-nation UN Security Council on Iran, issued Thursday, stipulates sanctions against 10 Iranian companies and three companies of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, an elite military organization in the country.

"Iran has developed nuclear cycle technology and has no intention of giving up its civilian program," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said.

The draft resolution, which seeks to impose further sanctions on Iran over its failure to suspend uranium enrichment, has been prepared by the Iran-Six, comprising Germany and the five permanent Security Council members - the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.

"They [the West] have been pressurizing Iran for 28 years and accuse us of having no freedom and democracy in our country, and they are also concerned that Iran will deviate from its peaceful nuclear program," Ahmadinejad said. "They should know that the world is concerned by their actions."

Iran resumed nuclear research last January, arousing concerns in the West, which suspects the Islamic Republic of pursuing a covert weapons program. Iran says it needs nuclear technologies to generate energy.

The new draft document says all the companies facing possible sanctions - the Ammunition and Metallurgy industrial group, the Karaj nuclear research center near Tehran, and the Sepah bank - were associated with Iran's nuclear research program or ballistic missile development.

The UN could also apply sanctions against 15 individuals, including eight top managers of state companies and seven key figures in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which is also responsible for Iran's missile forces.

The draft resolution says all financial assets of the companies and individuals must be frozen.

The document also provides for an embargo on weapons supplies from Iran and urges all countries to stop arms exports to the country. The draft resolution bans new grants, financial aid or loans to the Iranian government, except humanitarian programs.

The draft document, which the UN Security Council will vote on next week, also gives Iran 60 days to meet UN Security Council demands and abandon its nuclear program.

In December, the UN introduced sanctions against Iran, banning activities involving uranium enrichment, chemical reprocessing, heavy water-based projects, and the production of nuclear weapons delivery systems.



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