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. Rafsanjani warns US and Europe facing "trouble" in nuclear stand-off
TEHRAN (AFP) Mar 04, 2005
Top Iranian cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Friday warned the European Union, the United States and the UN's atomic watchdog that they were facing "trouble" for pressuring Tehran over its nuclear programme.

"I say to Europe, US and the agency that this style of confrontation will definitely not bring you a favourable result, and it will cause trouble for you," the powerful former president said in a Friday prayer sermon.

Rafsanjani complained that Iran had been forced to maintain a "two-year suspension and delay in nuclear activities" and that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was "keeping Iran busy with resolutions and the sending of inspectors".

He said the international community was welcome to "bring up any issue that helps creating confidence", but said it should "not go further" -- a reference to demands that Iran abandon its nuclear fuel cycle work in order to guarantee it will not acquire nuclear weapons.

The top cleric said he hoped "logic and wisdome can prevail over this arrogance, pride, bullying, monopolisation and discrimination", adding that Iran "will certainly not refrain from its right to use peaceful nuclear energy."

The EU-3 are seeking "objective guarantees" that Iran will not develop nuclear weapons or press on with the capacity to make them -- and wants Iran to abandon its work on the nuclear fuel cycle, especially uranium enrichment.

Enrichment is a process which makes nuclear fuel but can also be the explosive core of atomic bombs. Iran says it only wants to generate atomic energy, and argues such work is therefore authorised by the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

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