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Iran threatens to resume uranium enrichment
September 27, 2005 16:41 IST
Iran on Tuesday threatened to resume uranium enrichment and block United Nations inspections of its nuclear facilities unless the UN nuclear agency retracted its moves to refer the country to the Security Council for possible sanctions.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters that Iran was giving a "serious warning" to its European negotiating partners and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog.
The IAEA passed a resolution on the weekend that put Iran on the verge of referral to the Security Council unless Tehran eases suspicions about its nuclear activities.
Iran has rejected the resolution, protesting it was politically motivated and without legal foundation.
Asefi said, "Iran is asking the Europeans - Britain, France and Germany - and the IAEA for two things. First, they should not insist (on the terms of the resolution). Second, they should correct it."
If the other parties' reaction is not along these lines, the Islamic Republic of Iran will take these measures," Asefi said, adding that the country would cease to abide by the "voluntary measures" that it has been implementing as an expression of goodwill.
Effectively, this means that Iran would resume enrichment of uranium and disregard the additional protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which it signed but never ratified, under which it grants IAEA inspectors the right to unfettered inspections of its nuclear facilities.