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. Iran MPs mull blocking UN nuclear inspections
TEHRAN, Sept 3 (AFP) Sep 03, 2006
Iran's conservative-dominated parliament is to examine a bill that would block the UN watchdog's inspections of its nuclear facilities, a parliamentary source told AFP on Sunday.

"The draft law to suspend International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections was submitted today ... it will be examined by the national security and foreign affairs committee," the source said.

"If the UN Security Council wants to deprive Iran of its rights ... we will oblige the government to suspend all agency inspections which are taking place now," the committee's chairman Alaeddin Borujerdi told the ISNA news agency.

The move comes after Iran failed to meet a UN deadline to halt sensitive uranium enrichment activities, prompting a drive by the United States for the Security Council to impose sanctions.

State television said more than 50 lawmakers had backed the bill.

Iran already cut down on IAEA access after the agency referred it to the Security Council earlier this year, ceasing to apply an Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty that allowed for wider, short-notice inspections.

But it is still applying the safeguards agreement.

In late August, IAEA diplomats said the Islamic republic had blocked inspectors from visiting a key enrichment facility in Natanz and refused visas for a number of inspectors.

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