- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 29, 2006

From combined dispatches

TEHRAN — Iranian state radio said yesterday that the government would reject a proposed U.N. resolution that would give it until Aug. 31 to suspend uranium enrichment or face the threat of international sanctions.

“Iranians will not accept unfair decisions, even in the framework of resolutions by the international bodies,” the commentary on state-run radio said.

There has been no official comment to the draft resolution, but state radio often is thought to provide the Iranian government line.

The resolution was formally circulated to the full 15-member U.N. Security Council late Friday and likely will be adopted this week.

“Ultimatum and deadline cannot be acceptable to us,” the commentary said, accusing the United States and its allies of making what it called an illegal demand.

The commentary also said the draft might not be approved because of opposition by China.

Tehran has said it would reply Aug. 22 to a Western incentive package, but the council decided to go ahead with a resolution and not wait for Iran’s response.

The incentive package includes economic incentives and a provision for the United States to offer Iran some nuclear technology, lift some sanctions and join direct negotiations.

The proposal also calls for Iran to impose a long-term moratorium on uranium enrichment — which can produce peaceful reactor fuel or fissile bomb material.

The U.S. and some of its allies accuse Iran of seeking nuclear weapons. Tehran maintains its program is purely peaceful and aimed at generating electricity.

Iran has said it will never give up its right under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to enrich uranium and produce nuclear fuel but has indicated it may temporarily suspend large-scale activities to ease tensions.

Meanwhile, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei yesterday praised Hezbollah chief, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, as the “people’s favorite person all over the world,” state television said.

His comments coincided with Sheik Nasrallah vowing to strike cities in the center of Israel and declaring that the Jewish state had failed to win any military victory after days of bloody clashes with his Shi’ite militant group.

“The courageous resistance of the Lebanese people and Hezbollah is the manifestation of the rebellious spirit of Muslim and Arab nations against America,” Ayatollah Khamenei was quoted as saying during a visit by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Iran is the main backer of Hezbollah, the Shi’ite militia that controls southern Lebanon, and Mr. Chavez is attempting to build an anti-U.S. coalition of South American nations.

Both Iran and Venezuela are big oil-exporting nations.

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