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. Iran MPs threaten reprisals for any new sanctions
TEHRAN, July 1 (AFP) Jul 01, 2008
Iran's conservative-controlled parliament warned on Tuesday it would reduce nuclear cooperation if any new sanctions were imposed over the country's atomic drive, the Fars news agency reported.

The warning came after EU nations last week agreed new sanctions over Tehran's nuclear programme, notably banning the country's largest bank, Bank Melli, from operating in Europe.

Iran is also reviewing a proposal presented last month by six world powers aimed at resolving the standoff by offering incentives in exchange for Iran suspending sensitive uranium enrichment activities.

"We believe talks with the 5+1 countries, while respecting the Islamic republic's red line, are a suitable opportunity for these countries to resolve the existing problems," the news agency quoted a statement signed by 201 of parliament's 287 MPs as saying.

"They should know that they cannot go anywhere by adopting resolutions and sanctions. It rather leads us to make such decisions like we did when we quit the additional protocol."

Iran in February 2006 ended voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty that allowed for short notice inspections of nuclear sites by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

That move came after Tehran was referred to the UN Security Council over its nuclear drive.

The existing sanctions against Tehran aim to force it to halt uranium enrichment over fears the process could be used to make a nuclear weapon.

Iran has vowed not to stop enriching uranium, saying it has every right to the full nuclear fuel cycle for what it insists is an entirely peaceful drive for atomic energy.

Iran's new parliament -- headed by the former top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani as speaker -- has been seeking to play a stronger role in the atomic crisis than the previous chamber.

Shortly after his election as the new parliament's speaker in late May, Larijani warned the UN nuclear watchdog against playing for time in the dispute.

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