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. Iran says suspension of enrichment not on agenda
TEHRAN, Aug 20 (AFP) Aug 20, 2006
Iran said on Sunday that the suspension of uranium enrichment was not on the agenda, two days before it is to respond to an offer by world powers aiming at securing a freeze of the nuclear work.

"The issue of suspension means returning to the past. It is not on the agenda of the Islamic republic of Iran," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.

The UN Security Council has given Iran until August 31 to halt enrichment and reprocessing activities or face possible sanctions, amid Western fears its nuclear programme is a cover for efforts to build an atomic bomb.

Tehran is due to respond on August 22 to reply to a package of incentives offered by major powers in return for a freeze in enrichment, which creates fuel for nuclear power plants but can also be used to make the core of a bomb.

"The resolution is of no legal and lawful validity. Therefore, it is unacceptable for the Islamic republic," Asefi said.

"It (sanctions) would be more harmful to them (the West) than for us. We have been under informal sanctions since the 1979 Islamic revolution and we can deal with the consequences by planning," Asefi said.

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