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. Iran says nuclear cooperation to prevent new sanctions
TEHRAN, Sept 30 (AFP) Sep 30, 2007
Iran said on Sunday it would press on with its intensified cooperation with the UN nuclear agency to prevent the imposition of further Security Council sanctions over its contested nuclear programme.

"To prevent new sanctions, we will continue our cooperation with the agency," said foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini, according to the state IRNA news agency.

Referring to US pressure for the swift adoption of new sanctions, Hosseini said that "certain radical countries should respect the positions of the more realistic countries."

Iran last month agreed a timetable with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for it to answer outstanding questions about its nuclear programme, which the United States charges is aimed at making atomic weapons.

The agreement aims to help the IAEA finish its investigation into the Iranian nuclear programme. The watchdog has yet to draw any conclusion over the nature of the nuclear drive despite a four-year-long investigation.

World powers have now agreed to wait for reports due in November from the IAEA and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana before deciding whether to submit a new sanctions resolution to the Security Council.

The Security Council has already passed two resolutions imposing sanctions against Tehran to punish its defiant refusal to heed ultimatums to suspend sensitive uranium enrichment activities.

However the United States, which has never ruled out military action against Tehran, has warned that the IAEA agreement does not go far enough and is pushing for further sanctions.

France, whose tougher stance on the nuclear standoff since Nicolas Sarkozy became president has infuriated Tehran, has also called on European states to impose their own sanctions in addition to the UN measures.

Iran vehemently rejects charges it is seeking a nuclear weapon, saying the atomic drive is aimed solely at generating electricity for a growing population.

Hosseini meanwhile added that a new round of discussions between Iranian and IAEA experts would take place in the next week over Iran's development of uranium-enriching P1 and P2 centrifuges.

The two sides held a first round of talks on the issue last week, in line with the timetable agreed between Iran and the IAEA.

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