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Iran says more UN sanctions "costly" for West

Iran warned Western countries on Sunday that they would be the ones to suffer if they pass a new U.N. sanctions resolution on the Islamic Republic.

Iran has failed to convince world powers that its nuclear program has only peaceful aims. Britain and France have said they hope the United Nations Security Council will vote next week on a third round of sanctions.

“Some Western powers are...choosing a wrong path and passing resolutions against Iran will be costly for them,” Javad Vaeedi, deputy chief nuclear negotiator, was quoted by the official news agency IRNA as saying. Vaeedi did not elaborate.

The UN Security Council has demanded Iran halt uranium enrichment, the part of its nuclear program that most worries the West because the process can be used to make fuel for power plants or, potentially, material for bombs. Iran has refused.

Tehran says it is seeking to master nuclear technology so it can make fuel for a planned network of nuclear power plants and save its huge oil and gas reserves for export.

Iran has repeatedly said it would continue its nuclear activities.

“Iran will adopt necessary measures in accordance with the West's next step,” Vaeedi said.

After the United States and other powers had said they would push for further UN steps, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday Iran would not be harmed by more sanctions over its nuclear work.

Vaeedi said the third UN sanctions resolution was “politically motivated.”

“Iran's nuclear issue is just a pretext ... the West wants to tell Iran that the nuclear program has costs,” Vaeedi said.

Iran has repeatedly warned that the Islamic Republic could review cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), if pushed.

In its latest report, published on Friday, the IAEA said Iran had responded to questions and clarified issues raised in the context of the work plan struck in August, with the exception of alleged studies into the possible weaponisation of nuclear materials.

Ahmadinejad and other Iranian officials hailed the IAEA report as a “victory” for the Iranian nation.

The IAEA said it confronted Iran for the first time with Western intelligence reports of work linked to making atomic bombs, adding Tehran had failed to provide satisfactory answers.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini accused the United States of providing false intelligence too late to be addressed.

Under Iran's system of clerical rule, the final word in nuclear policy lies with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has also said Iran will not abandon its nuclear program. (Reuters)