Friday, January 13, 2006
AP: Iran vows end of nuke cooperation with UN - Jan. 13
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer - 8 minutes ago
TEHRAN, Iran -threatened on Friday to end all voluntary cooperation with the U.N. nuclear watchdog if it is referred to the for possible sanctions over its controversial nuclear program.
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, right, said Europeans will lose opportunities they currently have in dealing with Iran and Tehran would block snap inspections of its nuclear facilities, state-run television reported.
"In case Iran is referred to the U.N. Security Council ..., the government will be obliged to end all of its voluntary cooperation," the television quoted Mottaki as saying.
The statement reflected a law passed late last year that requires the government to block intrusive inspections of Iran's facilities if the U.N. nuclear agency refers the Iranian program to the U.N. Security Council.
Iran has been voluntarily allowing the short-notice IAEA inspections since 2003.
The law also requires the Iranian government to resume all nuclear activities that it had stopped voluntarily, foremost among them enriching uranium.
Foreign ministers of Germany, Britain and France said Thursday that nuclear talks with Iran had reached a dead-end after more than two years of acrimonious negotiations and the issue should be referred to the U.N. Security Council.
U.S. Secretary of Statealso said a "strong message" had to be sent to Tehran but said she was not ready to talk about what action should be taken to curtail Iran's nuclear ambitions.
The calls to refer Iran to Security Council were made two days after Iran removed some U.N. seals in the presence of inspectors from thefrom its main uranium enrichment facility in Natanz, central Iran, and resumed research on nuclear fuel.
Iran said it was resuming "merely research" and that "production of nuclear fuel" which would involve enrichment "remains suspended." But the IAEA said Tehran also planned small-scale enrichment of uranium a process that can produce fuel for nuclear reactors to generate electricity or material for nuclear weapons.
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