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. Hardline Iranian MPs renew pressure over nuclear suspension
TEHRAN (AFP) Jun 01, 2005
Iran's hardline parliament renewed its pressure on the reformist government Wednesday to end a suspension of its nuclear programme, saying negotiations with the Europeans were merely wasting time.

A letter to President Mohammad Khatami, signed by 175 deputies in the 290-seat Majlis, called on the government "to apply the law passed by parliament and approved by the Guardians Council as quickly as possible."

They said a promise by Britain, France and Germany to present new proposals to Iran on solving the nuclear stand-off in the coming months was a "victory" for the regime, but added that the EU-3 could also "waste more time by making an inacceptable proposition."

Last week the Guardians Council, a hardline political watchdog, said it approved of a law that obliges the government to "guarantee" production of the country's own nuclear fuel.

The bill, entitled "acquiring nuclear technology for peaceful purposes", was passed in May by right-wingers seeking to send a defiant message in the face of international demands that Iran abandon sensitive nuclear activities.

Although it will put Iran's claim to nuclear technology into law, the bill does not fix a deadline for an end to Iran's suspension of nuclear work.

Iran insists its bid to master the full nuclear fuel cycle, including uranium enrichment, is aimed at generating electricity and is a right for any country that has signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

But the process can also be used for military purposes.

The foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany agreed with Iranian negotiators last month that they would make new proposals to Tehran in late July or August on cooperation in civilian nuclear power and trade ties.

Iran in turn pledged to maintain a suspension of its uranium enrichment programme agreed in Paris last November.

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