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. Iran rejects IAEA nuclear demands, says ready for confrontation or talks
TEHRAN (AFP) Oct 06, 2004
Iran will not cede to international demands that it suspend all activities related to the enrichment of uranium and the country is prepared for both confrontation or negotiations, the Islamic republic's top national security official said Wednesday.

"We have said clearly that we will not apply the second part of the resolution concerning the total suspension of enrichment," Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Hassan Rowhani was quoted as saying by state television.

"We have suspended enrichment voluntarily and we will not accept any constraints," he added.

The board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on September 18 passed a resolution calling on Iran to "immediately" widen a suspension of enrichment to include all uranium enrichment-related activities -- such as making centrifuges, converting yellowcake into UF6 feed gas, and constructing a heavy water reactor.

Iran, facing a November 25 deadline, risks being referred to the UN Security Council if it fails to comply.

"To sort out this case, there are two possibilities," Rowhani said.

"Either we find a political solution and close the case (at the IAEA) or we move towards confrontation. We are ready for both."

Under IAEA pressure, Iran suspended enrichment in October last year after reaching a deal with Britain, France and Germany.

The country, suspected of using an atomic energy drive as a cover for weapons development, had been asked to halt enrichment pending the completion of an IAEA probe.

Depending on the level of purification, enriched uranium can be used either as fuel for a civilian reactor or as the explosive core of a nuclear bomb.

Iran says it only wants to generate electricity, and emphasises that enrichment is permitted under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) -- the treaty overseen by the IAEA -- if for peaceful purposes.

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