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Iran Threatens Repercussions

The United States, Britain, and France are working on a draft resolution calling for sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. The move came after Iran's clerical regime defied an August 31st U.N. Security Council deadline to stop all uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities. Enriched uranium can be used to produce either electricity or nuclear bombs.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad says that any decision taken by the U.N. Security Council is "illegitimate," and that Iran will not retreat even "an inch" over its nuclear program. Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said if the U.N. Security Council imposes sanctions, there would be "repercussions. . . . regionally and internationally."

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says that the Iranian government is already "a negative influence":

"They're the sponsors of Hezbollah, which started a war in the region. They're clearly playing an unhelpful role in Iraq. The Iraqi government has talked to them about that. They are probably the most significant state sponsors of terror in the world. And they are now working to develop a nuclear weapon which if they accomplish that would be probably one of the single most destabilizing events we have ever seen in the Middle East."

Mr. McCormack says that threats of even more negative behavior from Tehran should not deter nations from acting to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons:

"It could get a heck of a lot worse if you have a nuclear-armed Iran in the heart of the Middle East. Think about that. And Iran's neighbors have been thinking about that. And they are alarmed at the prospect. The rest of the world - the international community - is alarmed by that prospect. That's why you had a [U.N.] Security Council resolution that was passed that called upon them to suspend all their enrichment and reprocessing related activities."

State Department spokesman McCormack says that the Iranian government's "terrible record. . . .on human rights and the way it treats its own people" is another concern. But, says Mr. McCormack, "looking the other way because they might lash out in some other way is certainly not how we're going to respond."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.