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Iran warns against new sanctions

From CNN's Shirzad Bozorgmehr in Tehran
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(CNN) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned Tuesday that imposing new sanctions against his country would be like "playing with the lion's tail."

At a news conference to commemorate the 18th anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ahmadinejad called U.N. Security Council interference in Iran's nuclear program illegal and urged the body to abandon its "biased approach" toward Iran and pursue a balanced policy.

The president's comments came as Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani was meeting German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin on Tuesday to discuss Tehran's nuclear program.

The U.N. Security Council has so far imposed two rounds of limited sanctions on Iran.

Negotiations last year between Iran and three European nations aimed at resolving the issue ended in a stalemate.

At this week's G8 summit in Germany, officials hope to get other nations to agree to add pressure on Iran to suspend its nuclear activities.

The International Atomic Energy Agency -- the United Nations' nuclear watchdog -- issued a report last week saying Iran has not only ignored the call to halt its nuclear work but also has increased its activities. That prompted U.S. and British diplomats at the United Nations to announce they would press ahead for new sanctions against Iran.

Iran insists its nuclear activities are purely for peaceful, civilian purposes. But the United States and other Western nations are concerned Iran may be trying to build nuclear weapons.

Ahmadinejad said new sanctions against Iran would be like "playing with the lion's tail."


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