Sunday, September 04, 2005

Rejecting Sanctions Threat, Iran Says Won't Stop Uranium Conversion

Iran said Sunday that it won't stop uranium reprocessing work, rejecting a European threat that Tehran had less than two weeks to freeze uranium conversion or face referral to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions. READ MORE

Iran resumed uranium reporcessing activities at its Uranium Conversion Facility in Isfahan last month after it rejected a European package of proposals. That package had called on Iran to permanently stop its uranium enrichment program in return for a supply of nuclear fuel and economic incentives.

Iran says it won't give up uranium enrichment, a right granted to it under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

A report by Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said on Friday that Tehran had recently produced about seven tons of the gas it needs to enrich uranium - a possible pathway to a nuclear weapon.

"The issue of Isfahan is a thing of the past. We won't get back it," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told a press conference Sunday.

The United States has accused Iran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to secretly produce nuclear weapons.

Iran has rejected the charges saying its nuclear program is geared merely
towards generating electricity, not making a bomb.