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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran will continue uranium enrichment - official

RIA Novosti

08/04/2007 15:21 TEHRAN, April 8 (RIA Novosti) - Iran will continue its nuclear program and the world community's demand to halt uranium enrichment is unacceptable, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said Sunday.

Since Iran resumed uranium enrichment in January 2006, the country has been the focus of international concerns, as some Western countries, particularly the United States, suspect Tehran is pursuing a covert weapons program. But Tehran has consistently claimed it needs nuclear power for civilian power generation and is full entitled to its own nuclear program.

"The [uranium] enrichment suspension contradicts the provisions of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We have repeatedly stated that a moratorium [on uranium enrichment] is not logical from Iran's viewpoint," Hosseini said.

The UN Security Council voted unanimously March 24 to impose new sanctions against the Islamic Republic for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment.

The new UN Security Council resolution was passed following Tehran's refusal to comply with the previous resolution adopted December 23, 2006.

The new resolution freezes financial accounts abroad of 13 companies and 15 individuals involved in uranium enrichment and missile development projects, imposes visa restrictions and bans arms exports from Iran. It also threatens new sanctions, if Iran does not comply with it within 60 days, and urges the Islamic Republic to return to negotiations.

Hosseini also said Iran does not intend to hold negotiations on its legitimate right to civilian nuclear technologies.

"We will not hold negotiations on our legitimate right to civilian nuclear technologies. Only the problems of deviation from the civilian focus [of Iran's nuclear program] can be the subject of talks in the future," the Iranian diplomat said.

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