Iran Warns They Will Respond to Sanctions Over Nuke Program

Published October 22, 2006

| Associated Press

An Iranian Foreign Ministry official warned Sunday that Tehran would not remain passive if the West imposes sanctions on over Iran's disputed nuclear program, but did not say how it would respond.

Mohammed Ali Hosseini, spokesman for the ministry, made the comments days before a draft resolution is expected to be submitted to the United Nations Security Council calling for limited sanctions against Tehran.

"Sanctions will have an impact on both sides and will have regional and international repercussions. If they choose sanctions we will decide accordingly," Hosseini told journalists in a weekly briefing.

He did not elaborate on actions that Iran might choose in response to sanctions, however when he was asked if they could have an impact on the movement of oil through the Strait of Hormuz, through which some 20 percent of the world's supply passes every day, he replied, that "depends on the kind of sanctions."

The spokesman reiterated Iran's commitment to resolving the impasse with the international community over its nuclear program through negotiations.

"Negotiations between Solana and Larijani had positive outcomes which should be the cornerstone for future negotiations," Hosseini said.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, and EU foreign policy Chief Javier Solana held talks after Iran ignored an Aug. 31 deadline set by the Security Council to halt uranium enrichment.

On Friday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the U.N. Security Council and its decisions "illegitimate," saying the world body was being used as a political tool by Iran's enemies -- the United States and Britain.

Uranium enrichment is a key process that can produce either fuel for a nuclear reactor or the material for a warhead. Tehran says its uranium enrichment program aims only to generate electricity, while the United States and others suspect it is a cover for building atomic weapons.

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