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Rice Says UN Must Prepare For Iran's Noncompliance

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (file photo) (official site) April 27, 2006 -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the UN Security Council "has to act" in order to remain credible in dealing with Iran.

Rice made the comments on the sidelines of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Sofia today.

The UN has given Iran until tomorrow to halt its uranium-enrichment activities.

But Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad today said Tehran would not comply.

"The Iranian nation has reached the nuclear fuel cycle by relying on its youth. It has not received help from anyone. It has reached it by relying on the capabilities of its youth and no one can take it away from [the Iranian nation]," Ahmadinejad said.

Russia and China, two permanent members of the UN Security Council, today reiterated their calls for resolving the crisis by diplomatic means.

(AP, Reuters)

What Would Sanctions Mean?

What Would Sanctions Mean?

Economic sanctions could further undermine Iran's already shaky economy (Fars)

MOVING TOWARD SANCTIONS: If the United Nations Security Council imposes sanctions on Iran, domestic support for Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad will wane, according to ALEX VATANKA, Eurasia editor for Jane's Information Group.
Vatanka told a February 24 RFE/RL briefing that "economic sanctions will hurt the average Iranian" and, consequently, many "will blame the ruling clerics" for making life difficult and "impairing the country's long term development."
Vatanka said sanctions would be a serious challenge to the Iranian government. If harsh economic sanctions were imposed, Iran's poorest population will be hurt the hardest -- and might react "as they did in the 1970s and protest in the streets." Sanctions on travel, Vatanka said, would hurt a many Iranians because "Iran is a nation of small traders" who depend on the ability to travel to earn an income. According to Vatanka, unemployment in Iran is estimated at 30 percent, "so small trading is essential to survival." Although current U.S. sanctions "haven't worked," he said, "Iranians fear an oil embargo." He stressed that "oil revenues are a major part of the economy, so it is critical to look at this sector."
Should negotiations with the European Union and the UN fail, Vatanka believes that Iran would follow a "North Korea model," since Ahmadinejad's base of support among the "Islamist militias" has been "urging withdrawal from the NPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty]." The Iranian government's "tactic" so far, Vatanka said, is governed by the belief that "by shouting the loudest, you'll get concessions [from the West]."


Listen to the complete panel discussion (about 60 minutes):
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THE COMPLETE STORY: RFE/RL's coverage of the controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.


An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.