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Iran Denounces Security Council's Statement
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A top Iranian cleric on Friday denounced a recent presidential statement by the UN Security Council on Iran's nuclear issue as a feature of the law of jungle, vowing to defend the country's nuclear right.

"Nuclear technology and energy are our inalienable right but the Security Council says Iran should not have this technology. This is the law of jungle," substitute Friday prayers leader Ahmad Khatami was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying.

The mullah was referring to a statement adopted by the 15-member Security Council on March 29, which urges Iran to re-suspend all activities related to uranium enrichment in 30 days.

Khatami also expressed regret that "certain international organizations and institutions including the Security Council have been turned into a tool in the hands of bullying powers", criticizing the western countries for escalating the crisis.

"In nuclear case, enemies are after causing crisis. They gave a month deadline to Iran to suspend research...The (Iranian) nation stressed it will stand by the last drop of its blood to obtain its nuclear right," Khatami asserted.

Commenting on Iran's joint military maneuver held between March 31 and April 6, Khatami said that it "conveyed this message to the enemies that if they intend to direct the least aggression on the Islamic system of Iran, the country will slap hard across their face".

Meanwhile, local media reported that a new team of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors arrived in Iran earlier in the day, kicking off new inspections on Iran's nuclear facilities.

Iran has said that the IAEA would just be able to carry out inspection based on the Non-Proliferation Treaty due to Tehran's halt of implementing the additional protocol.

On Thursday, Iranian Ambassador to the IAEA Ali-Asghar Soltaniyeh told the German journal "Stern" that Iran's resumption of uranium enrichment was an irreversible decision, warning that Tehran "will show reaction if the Security Council makes decisions which will threaten Iran's security and national interests".

Iranian Majlis (Parliament) Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel on Tuesday rejected the statement as "illegal" and "unfair", saying "the Security Council, which must keep peace and security, has turned into a tool for practicing discrimination".

The IAEA handed over the Iranian file to the Security Council on March 8 based on a previous resolution adopted on February 4 to report the case to the powerful UN body.

Iran has denounced the involvement of the UN as illegal, vowing not to give up its legal rights.

The Islamic Republic resumed small-scale uranium enrichment in retaliation to the IAEA's resolution on February 4.

(Xinhua News Agency April 8, 2006)

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