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. Iran warns against further nuclear sanctions
TEHRAN, Aug 20 (AFP) Aug 20, 2007
Iran warned the UN Security Council on Monday against imposing new sanctions over its nuclear drive, saying such a move would render its cooperation with the UN atomic agency and other talks "sterile".

"If they take an irrational move, then Iran's cooperation with the agency as well as the talks will be sterile," top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said on the sidelines of a religious conference, according to the official IRNA news agency.

"If they take the wrong path this will arouse a reaction from Iran."

His comments came on the first day of talks in Tehran between International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) deputy director general Olli Heinonen and Iran's national security council deputy head Javad Vaeedi.

The talks are aimed at easing concerns over Iran's nuclear programme, amid warnings of further sanctions against the Islamic republic.

If more sanctions are imposed "the path taken so far will end and Iran will take its next steps," Larijani warned.

"We are ready to take our next steps in coordination with you (world powers) but, if not, we will do our own thing."

The United States accuses Iran of seeking to make nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian energy drive.

Iran, however, insists that its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful and has refused to cede to demands it suspends sensitive uranium enrichment activities.

Three of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- Britain, France and the United States -- are in favour of debating a third set of sanctions to punish Iran's defiance, while China and Russia are more hesitant.

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