Joined: 24 Feb 2003
|Posted: Sat Oct 01, 2005 1:03 pm Post subject: Iran's Blackmail - Associated Press, October 1, 2005
|Iran's president threatens to withhold oil sales
October 1, 2005
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Iran could hold back oil sales if it is referred to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions over its nuclear program, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a newspaper interview published Saturday.
Ahmadinejad also told the Khaleej Times that Islam prohibited the use of nuclear arms and reiterated that Iran's nuclear program was peaceful.
"If Iran's case is sent to the Security Council, we will respond by many ways, for example by holding back on oil sales," the president told the Dubai-based Khaleej Times.
Iran pumps about four million barrels daily, making it the second-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries after Saudi Arabia.
Crude oil exports normally account for about 80 per cent of Iran's hard currency income, and an oil official last month projected revenues from oil exports this year at the equivalent of $49 billion Cdn.
Ahmadinejad was responding to a resolution passed last month by the International Atomic Energy Agency that put Iran on the verge of referral to the UN Security Council unless Tehran eases suspicions about its nuclear activities.
The president's threat was in addition to others voiced by Iran since the IAEA resolution. Officials have threatened to resume uranium enrichment and block UN inspections of its nuclear facilities unless the UN nuclear agency stepped back from its resolution.
Iran has also threatened to use trade to punish countries that voted for the resolution, and last week the parliament began debating a bill to force the government to scale back cooperation with the IAEA.
Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes. The United States and some other countries suspect Iran of trying to build nuclear weapons.
"I said I'll do every thing in order to uphold our national interest," Ahmadinejad said of his campaign promises ahead of the June presidential election.
"One of these things is that we will have access to the nuclear supply process. We don't want to be at war with the world, as you see they're trying to impose their will on our country. I have no worries about all that. We will have peace, prosperity and the nuclear supply cycle."
The IAEA resolution ordered Iran to ratify an additional protocol to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty in its parliament, suspend all uranium enrichment activities, including uranium conversion, abandon the construction of a heavy water nuclear reactor and grant access to certain locations and documents.
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