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Iran rejects suspension of enrichment, president says, as IAEA visits Iran

(AP) Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday that the West should not expect his country to suspend uranium enrichment as a delegation from the U.N. nuclear watchdog arrived here to see if Iran is willing to answer outstanding questions on its program, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. The hard-line president said Iran was ready to remove ambiguities about its disputed program but he refused to give in to demands that Iran suspend enrichment, quashing hope that there was a new willingness to resolve standoff between Iran and the West over its nuclear program. “We are ready to remove any ambiguity, which they may have, in talks and negotiations,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by IRNA. But he said Iran seeks “all rights of our nation and there is no room for surrender even to the amount of an iota,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by IRNA. State-run television said Wednesday that a “high-ranking” five-member delegation from the U.N. watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, headed by Deputy Director General Olli Heinonen arrived in Tehran for a two-day visit. Heinonen would meet Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, on Wednesday, the report said. But the delegation would not inspect nuclear facilities, the TV said. The IAEA visit comes two days after IAEA chief Mohammad ElBaradei said Iran had scaled back its uranium enrichment program suggesting then that there was a new willingness from the government to resolve the international deadlock over its nuclear stance. Speaking in Vienna, ElBaradei said Monday if Iran finally honored its promise to resolve questions surrounding its program and froze all enrichment activities, “this would influence the actions” of the six nations the five permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany, ElBaradei said, suggesting that the council would hold off on new sanctions. But Ahmadinejad said Iran had no plans to suspend enrichment. “The process of installing centrifuges could be slow or fast. … But no one should expect that we will give up our rights and stop the process,” Irna quoted Ahmadinejad as saying. Members of the U.N. Security Council are preparing to debate a third set of sanctions against the Islamic republic in response to Tehran’s refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, which can produce fuel for civilian energy or fissile material for a bomb. Tehran insists it wants to develop an enrichment program to generate energy, but the U.S. and some of its allies fear that it could misuse it to produce the fissile core of nuclear warheads. Iran has said it is ready to remove the ambiguities related to its nuclear activities through negotiations but rejects enrichment suspension, a condition set by the West for resumption of talks on the case. The Security Council first imposed sanctions on Iran in December and modestly increased them in March over Iran’s refusal to suspend enrichment.

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July 11, 2007 - Posted by | Blogroll, news, personal, politics, random, religion, Terrorism, Terrorism In The U.S., Terrorism News, Uncategorized, War-On-Terror

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