BBC News | Thursday, 10 June 2010 | 09:07 GMT
Iran’s parliament is to reconsider relations with the UN nuclear watchdog, following the latest round of UN sanctions, state media says. The announcement by National Security and Foreign Policy Committee head Alaeddin Boroujerdi did not specify what action might be taken. But correspondents say options could include restricting access by UN inspectors to Iranian nuclear sites. President Ahmadinejad has dismissed the UN sanctions as a "used handkerchief". Iran insists it wants only atomic energy, but a number of Western countries suspect it of trying to build nuclear weapons.
Russian sale ‘off’
On Wednesday, the UN Security Council voted to impose a fourth round of sanctions on Tehran for failing to halt its nuclear enrichment programme. The measures were passed after being watered down during negotiations with Russia and China. Beijing said on Thursday it "highly values" its relations with the Islamic republic, after incurring Tehran’s anger by voting for the measures. Meanwhile, Russia said the sanctions meant it could not supply Iran with the S-300 anti-missile system Tehran had ordered, a military source told Moscow’s Interfax news agency. The resolution includes measures to prohibit Iran from buying heavy weapons such as missiles and helicopters. The Security Council voted by 12 votes to two in favour; Brazil and Turkey voted against, while Lebanon abstained.
They argued that the move was counter-productive and endangered a diplomatic solution. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that the imposition of the latest sanctions was a "mistake", reports Reuters news agency. Although the measures were not as tough as the US had wanted, President Barack Obama said they sent an unmistakable message about the determination to stop the spread of nuclear arms. However, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the UN’s resolutions were like a "used handkerchief which should be thrown in the dustbin. They are not capable of hurting Iranians".
BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen says the most significant parts of the resolution create a legal basis to restrict the supply of goods that Iran wants for its alleged nuclear missile programmes. Our correspondent says the measures single out the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, who run much of the economy – including the national shipping line, which Western diplomats say is trying to evade sanctions by setting up front companies. The resolution toughens rules on financial transactions with Iranian banks, and increases the number of Iranian individuals and companies that are targeted by asset freezes and travel bans.