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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran parliamentary speaker says IAEA political tool

RIA Novosti

26/03/2007 16:18 TEHRAN, March 26 (RIA Novosti) - Iran's parliamentary speaker responded to tougher UN sanctions against his country by saying the organization's nuclear watchdog had turned into an international political tool.

"The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has presently become an instrument in the hands of leading nations," Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel said Monday, two days after the 15-nation UN Security Council voted to introduce additional sanctions against Iran over its failure to meet the requirements set in December's resolution and give up nuclear research.

The parliamentary speaker of Iran, which is a member of the UN, said membership in international organizations had to work both ways and grant benefits to make up for the restrictions.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran sees no reasons for the IAEA to introduce limitations against our country without giving us any privileges in return," he said.

The new sanctions against Iran, which is suspected of pursuing a covert weapons program, stipulate freezing accounts of 13 companies and 15 individuals associated with Iran's uranium enrichment program and development of missile carriers.

The sanctions also bring in visa restrictions, an embargo on weapons exports from Iran and recommendations to others nations to refrain from selling arms to Tehran or providing loans.

The new UN resolution gives Tehran 60 days to suspend those elements of nuclear research, which have nothing to do with energy generation, and to resume negotiations. After the deadline expires, the UN Security Council will return to the issue.

Iran responded by saying it would reduce cooperation with IAEA inspectors until its nuclear file is returned to the agency from the UN Security Council. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday the resolution would not stop his country's nuclear program "for a second."

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