Iran says it will suspend, not stop enrichment
TEHRAN (AFP) Nov 02, 2003
Iran reiterated Sunday it remained unwilling to totally halt uranium enrichment, but pledged that it remained committed to answering any new questions from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"Our uranium enrichment activities are still in their early stages, and it has only been several months since we began. We have said we agree to voluntarily suspend this, but not stop," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.

"The use of nuclear technology for peaceful ends is our right, and we do not have the right nor the wish to reject this," he added, asserting that "no country has the right to deprive Iran of this technology."

"We have given a complete report (to the IAEA) and we are ready, as we have already said, to cooperate fully and give other details demanded," Asefi said.

In September the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) imposed an October 31 deadline on Iran to fully disclose details of its nuclear program and urged it to sign the additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) allowing tougher inspections by the UN watchdog.

Iran was also urged to suspend uranium enrichment.

After initially rejecting the deadline, Iran agreed to comply with IAEA demands just 10 days before the deadline expired during an unprecedented joint visit by British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin and German Foreign Minister Joshka Fischer.

Iran has also pledged to sign up to tougher inspections, but has yet to implement its agreement to suspend its work on the nuclear fuel cycle.