Envoy: Iran Using Foreign Unrest To Advance Nuclear Ambitions

Posted September 7th, 2011 at 3:25 pm (UTC-5)
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A French envoy says Iran may be using political turmoil in countries such as Libya and Syria as a cover for its nuclear ambitions.

French U.N. diplomat Martin Briens says the “eyes of the international community” are diverted elsewhere and Tehran may believe that it can profit from the situation. He commented during Wednesday's Security Council meeting on U.N. sanctions against Iran.

For the past nine years, Tehran has failed to provide the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency with the requested guarantees that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice told the Council that Iran is still refusing to address concerns regarding possible “military dimensions” to its nuclear program.

Iran says its nuclear program is devoted only to the peaceful generation of energy. However, the U.N. has imposed four sets of sanctions on Tehran for its uranium enrichment activities and lack of cooperation with international inspectors.

On Monday, Iranian state-run media quoted nuclear chief Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani as saying Tehran would be willing to give inspectors with the International Atomic Energy Agency “full supervision” of nuclear activities for five years if sanctions were lifted.

However, on Tuesday he said the offer did not include “additional protocol” — an indication that Iran would still ban inspections of its sites on short notice.