VIENNA, Austria – Iran threatened the United States with “harm and pain” Wednesday for its role in hauling Tehran before the U.N. Security Council over its nuclear program.
But the United States and its European allies said Iran’s nuclear intransigence left the world no choice but to ask for Security Council action. The council could impose economic and political sanctions on Iran.
The statements were delivered to the 35-member board of the
International Atomic Energy Agency, which is meeting to focus on Tehran’s refusal to freeze uranium enrichment.
The White House dismissed the rhetoric out of Tehran.
“I think that provocative statements and actions only further isolate Iran from the rest of the world,” White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters traveling with
President Bush to hurricane-affected states in the Gulf Coast. “And the international community has spelled out to Iran what it needs to do.”
America’s ambassador to the
United Nations — and the chief architect of U.S. policy in the Security Council once it takes up the Iran issue — said Iran’s comments reflected the menace it poses.
“Their threats show why leaving a country like that with a nuclear weapon is so dangerous,” he told The Associated Press in a phone call from Washington.
He classified the Iranian comments as “reflecting their determination to acquire weapons.”