Iran says UN sanctions show double standard
Friday, June 18, 2010; 9:58 AM
TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran's top security body on Friday railed against the latest U.N. sanctions imposed over Tehran's controversial nuclear program, saying they show world powers are applying a double standard.
The Supreme National Security Council said that U.S. and other nuclear-armed powers have punished Iran with the sanctions even though it doesn't have nuclear weapons, while at the same time they support Israel, which is widely believed to have a sizable nuclear arsenal.
The United Nations Security council approved new sanctions this month, and this week the Obama administration and the European Union both added further measures.
The United States and its allies are concerned Iran's continued uranium enrichment could ultimately produce a nuclear weapon. Iran denies this, saying it only seeks nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and insists on its rights under the nonproliferation treaty to enrich uranium and produce nuclear fuel.
Friday's statement criticized world powers for targeting Iran but not the nuclear weapons of other states, especially Israel, which is widely believed to have a large arsenal.
Israel, which unlike Iran has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, does not confirm nor deny it has nuclear weapons.
"The world has never seen a Security Council resolution about the Zionist regime's proliferation of nuclear weapons," the Iranian council said, meaning Israel. "The Security Council has never wanted to investigate who provided nuclear weapons to this regime because some of its permanent members are the main suspects."
The Iranian council said there was no justification for the sanctions against Iran and stressed the U.N. nuclear watchdog never found evidence of Tehran diverting its nuclear program into weapons-making.
"The resolution about the Islamic Republic of Iran's peaceful nuclear activities is based on trumped up charges that have never been proven," the council said.
The statement was the latest in a series of rebukes from Iran after the Security Council earlier this month approved new sanctions against Iran over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, a technology that can be used to produce nuclear fuel or materials for a warhead.
The U.N. measure imposes new sanctions on 40 Iranian companies and organizations - 15 linked to Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard and 22 involved in nuclear or ballistic missile activities - and bans Iran from pursuing "any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons."
It also bars Iranian investment in activities such as uranium mining, and prohibits Iran from buying several categories of heavy weapons, including attack helicopters and missiles.