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Russia, China warn against antagonizing Iran
Updated: 2005-09-22 06:55

"We ... regret, and feel deeply concerned by the fact that Iran gives every sign of being intent on developing a fissile material production capability well before the international community obtains what it needs: confidence that Iran's programme is exclusively peaceful in nature," the EU said in a statement on behalf of 25 EU members and other European states.

Other Western countries on the IAEA board, including Canada, Japan and Australia support the EU draft resolution. But only 20 or 21 out of 35 members back it at the moment, diplomats say.

Iran has angered the EU and other Western countries by resuming uranium processing work at a plant in Isfahan. That move led EU officials to threaten the Council referral.

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator reacted angrily to the EU draft resolution, saying on Tuesday that Tehran might pull out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and resume uranium enrichment, which can produce fuel for energy or bombs, if Tehran goes to the Security Council.

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, has said his country, the world's fourth biggest oil producer, might link countries' access to its oil to whether they support Iran.

Vice President and head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Gholamreza Aghazadeh reiterated some of the threats but told reporters that "leaving the NPT is not on the agenda."

Diplomats on the IAEA board, holding its quarterly meeting this week, said the EU draft resolution had been informally distributed to the 35 IAEA board members but had not yet been formally submitted to the board.

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