Iranian General On U.N. Travel Restriction List Says He Visited Russia
Monday, April 9th 2007, 7:24 am
News On 6
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) _ An Iranian Revolutionary Guard general who is banned from traveling abroad by the U.N. Security Council visited Russia without any difficulty, Iranian state television reported on its Web site Monday.
Gen. Mohammad Baqer Zolqadr, who is also deputy interior minister for security affairs, was one of 15 Iranians listed in U.N. Resolution 1747 that the Security Council approved unanimously in March to punish Iran for failing to stop enrichment of uranium _ a process that can produce the material for nuclear bombs.
Zolqadr was quoted on the state TV Web site as saying that his six-day journey to Moscow, which ended Monday, showed ``the ineffectiveness of the resolution.''
The resolution calls on all governments to ban visits by the 15 individuals and says that should such visits occur _ presumably for exceptional circumstances _ the countries should notify a U.N. committee.
``Despite resolution 1747 which imposed a travel ban on some members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, including me, I traveled to Russia and no restriction was applied,'' the Web site quoted Zolqadr as saying.
Officials at the Russian Foreign Ministry could not immediately be reached for comment.
Zolqadr pointed out that Russia had voted for the U.N. restrictions on Iran. The resolution was the second batch of limited sanctions that the Security Council had imposed on Iran in four months because of its refusal to cease uranium enrichment.
Zolqadr said he was invited by Russia's Border Guard authorities and that he discussed cooperation on border control and relief for natural disasters such as earthquakes. Memorandums of understanding were signed on both issues, Zolqadr reported.
Russia and Iran share a border across the Caspian Sea.
World powers fear that Iran could use the enrichment process to produce uranium suitable for nuclear bombs. The U.S. and some allies accuse Iran of secretly trying to build atomic weapons.
Iran denies this, saying it seeks enrichment solely to produce its own fuel for nuclear reactors that generate electricity. Its first reactor, a Russian-built plant at the southern town of Bushehr, was due to come on stream in September, but has been delayed by a dispute with Russia.