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Iran will resist any UN call to end atomic research
Updated: 2006-03-15 16:42

Iran will not stop its research on atomic fuel, even if instructed to do so by the United Nations Security Council, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said on Wednesday.

Iran has been reported to the U.N. Security Council, which has the power to impose sanctions, after failing to convince the world it is not using its atomic power station program as a smokescreen for building nuclear warheads.

Western diplomats are pushing for the world body to insist upon a full suspension of Iran's nuclear fuel activities, including research.

"Research is our obvious right, they cannot ask us to do such things, it is irreversible," Asefi told a news conference when asked how Tehran would react to a Security Council motion seeking an end to research.

Iran has said it intends to install 3,000 uranium-enriching centrifuges later this year. Scientists say these centrifuges could produce enough enriched uranium for a warhead within a year.

Asefi said Tehran-Moscow atomic diplomacy was continuing, but it was unclear whether the parties were discussing a Russian compromise deal that Moscow enrich uranium on Iran's behalf to dispel fears that it could be used in arms.

"Talks with the Russians yesterday were good," he said.

"There was one point we agreed on, that the case should remain with the International Atomic Energy Agency. The agency's full capacity has not been exhausted."

Talks between Tehran and Moscow have failed to yield anything concrete, with Tehran insisting on its right to enrich uranium on its own soil.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he was "disappointed" by Iran's conduct in earlier talks.

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