.TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran vowed to push ahead with uranium enrichment Tuesday, a day after the U.N. Security Council passed a third round of sanctions that Tehran called “worthless” and politically biased.
The council approved the measures in a 14-0 vote, but unity among the major powers faltered Tuesday when Russia and China blocked an attempt by Western nations to introduce a resolution on Iran’s nuclear defiance at a meeting of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency.
The dispute reflected the often contentious relations between the West and Russia and China about how to deal with Iran’s refusal to suspend enrichment and meet other Security Council demands aimed at ensuring its nuclear program isn’t trying to produce atomic weapons.
The sanctions approved Monday ordered a freeze on assets of additional Iranian officials and companies with links to the country’s nuclear and missile programs and banned for the first time trade with Iran in some goods that have both civilian and military uses.
“This resolution is contrary to the spirit and articles of the International Atomic Energy Agency. It has been issued based on political motivations and a biased approach. It is worthless and unacceptable,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini was quoted as saying by Iran’s official news agency.
He said the sanctions would “have no impact on the resolve and determination of the Iranian nation and government to fulfill its legitimate rights in continuing its peaceful nuclear activities within the framework of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.”
Iran insists its enrichment work is intended to produce fuel for nuclear reactors that would generate electricity. The U.S. and others worry about Iran’s intentions, because higher-grade enriched uranium can be used to make nuclear warheads.