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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran has no intention to quit NPT - Larijani

RIA Novosti

11/04/2007 17:36 TEHRAN, April 11 (RIA Novosti) - Iran has no intention of pulling out of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Iran's top nuclear negotiator said Wednesday.

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

"We are not interested in withdrawing from the NPT and regard it as a good agreement," Ali Larijani said.

He also urged the West to abandon a stance that could turn the NPT into a useless international treaty.

Larijani said Monday Iran could review its NPT participation if it continues to come under pressure over its nuclear research program.

He also said he will meet with EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana in the near future to discuss Iran's nuclear problem.

The NPT, a treaty of unlimited duration, went into effect March 5, 1970. As of 2003, it was ratified by 187 countries. Iran signed the treaty on February 2, 1970.

Iran had started production of nuclear fuel on an industrial scale, the Islamic Republic's president said Monday.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran has the right to produce nuclear fuel in line with the NPT and that Iran was acting in line with international laws and under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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 foreign accounts 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 the resolution within 60 days, and urges the Islamic Republic to return to negotiations.

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