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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Tehran hopes new UN sanctions against Iran will be shelved

RIA Novosti

26/01/2008 17:29 TEHRAN, January 26 (RIA Novosti) - Iran is hoping that the UN Security Council will not adopt a new resolution on sanctions against the Islamic Republic over its controversial nuclear program, the foreign minister said on Saturday.

The five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany agreed January 22 at talks in Berlin on a draft for new measures against the Islamic Republic, strengthening two previous rounds of sanctions but falling short of the punitive steps proposed by Washington. The draft may be submitted to the Security Council as early as the next week.

"We hope that the Security Council will not make the wrong decisions, knowing that there are no grounds for doing so," the IRNA news agency quoted Manouchehr Mottaki as saying on the sidelines of an economic forum in Davos, Switzerland.

He reiterated that last year, the IAEA issued a generally positive report on Tehran's cooperativeness with UN inspectors, and a U.S. intelligence community report stated that the country had dropped nuclear weapons research several years ago.

"It would be better for the UN Security Council to correct its past mistakes [in relation to Iran]," the minister said.

The diplomatic standoff between Iran and the West began almost six years ago over suspicions that Tehran's nuclear work is a cover for an atomic weapons program. Since then, two rounds of sanctions have been imposed - in December 2006 and March 2007.

The new set of sanctions stipulates monitoring of activities related to Iranian Bank Melli and Bank Saderat, and mandatory inspection of cargo carried by Iran Air Cargo and Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line.

It also contains recommendations for all countries to take caution when developing contacts with Iran, especially in trade and finance.

Tehran continues to insist that it needs nuclear technology to generate electricity and plans to hold tenders for the construction of 19 new nuclear reactors.

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