Monday, November 29, 1999

Iran calls U.N. sanctions "illegal and invalid"

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Iran said on Friday that United Nations sanctions against its nuclear programme were illegal and should be revoked.In a statement carried on the official IRNA news wire, Iran's Supreme National Security Council, which coordinates national defence and security policy, said: "The entrance of the United Nations Security Council in the Islamic Republic of Iran's peaceful nuclear activities is illegal and invalid."The sanctions, passed by the U.N. Security Council on June 10, and swiftly followed by tougher measures by the European Union and the United States, broke an article in the U.N. charter as well as the rules of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the statement said."(The U.N. Security) Council should swiftly take corrective action and correct its past mistakes," it said.The sanctions are aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear enrichment which Tehran says is peaceful but which the West fears could lead it to make nuclear weapons.The U.N. sanctions target Iranian banks suspected of connections with nuclear or missile programmes. They also expand an arms embargo and call for a cargo inspection regime.Iran's leaders have dismissed the likely effectiveness of such measures, but tougher action by Washington and Brussels, which could have greater impact on the OPEC member's crucial energy sector, might have more bite, analysts say.(Reporting by Ramin Mostafavi; Writing by Robin Pomeroy; Editing by Charles Dick)(For more news on Reuters India, click

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