Iran will not stop uranium enrichment programme

08 October 2003
Iran announced on 7 October that it would not stop its uranium enrichment programme, despite concerns from the international community. 'We will not allow anyone to deprive us of our legitimate right to use nuclear technology, particularly [uranium] enrichment for providing fuel for nuclear plants,' said Foreign Affairs Minister Kamal Kharrazi. Contrary to previous indications, President Khatami stressed that the country may sign the additional nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) protocol, demanded International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). 'We have never said that we would not sign the additional protocol of the NPT,' Khatami told reporters on 8 October. 'But, we will never accept a commitment that would jeopardise the security and national sovereignty of the country.'

Iran has until the end of October to comply with the demands of the IAEA, which includes signing the additional NPT protocol that allows the agency to carry out more intrusive inspections. If Iran does not comply, the matter will be put to the UN Security Council, which could impose international sanctions (MEED 6:10:03).

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