Ali Asghar Soltanieh
Photo: AFP
Official: Iran won't stop uranium enrichment
Despite international community's demands that Islamic Republic halt nuclear program, diplomat states his country will continue with uranium enrichment

An Iranian diplomat says Tehran will not stop uranium enrichment "for a moment," defying demands from the UN and world powers to halt its suspect nuclear program.


The comments by Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's delegate to the International Atomic Energy Agency, come just two days after senior IAEA investigators ended two days of intensive talks with Iranian officials on allegations the Islamic Republic may have carried out tests on triggers for atomic weapons.


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His remarks reiterate Iran's longstanding assertion that its enrichment program is for producing nuclear fuel and other peaceful purposes, and thus is Tehran's right under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.


Soltanieh's comments were reported by the official IRNA news agency Saturday. Iran and the IAEA agreed to hold another round of negotiations on Feb. 12.


On Friday, UN experts returned from Tehran without sealing a long-sought deal that would restart a probe of suspicions that Iran worked on atomic arms, adding to doubts that upcoming talks between six world powers and the Islamic Republic will succeed.



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