Iran MPs pass bill for 20 percent uranium enrichment
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Last Updated: Sunday, July 18, 2010, 18:09
Tehran: Iranian MPs on Sunday passed a bill obligating Tehran to continue 20-percent uranium enrichment, defying mounting Western pressure to halt such work, Fars news agency reported.

"The outlines of the bill were adopted by 171 MPs out of 200 present," Fars said about the legislation, which still needs to be rubber-stamped by the hardline Guardians Council watchdog before becoming law.

The bill titled "Combating US and British plots to protect nuclear achievements" stipulates that Iran also "retaliate" against inspection of its ships and refusal to give fuel to Iranian planes at international airports, Fars said.

"If the bill is finally passed the Atomic Energy Organisation will be required to make provisions for the production and supply of 20-percent enriched fuel to meet the needs of research reactors for medical uses," Fars said.

Western powers have demanded that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment programme, fearing that Tehran would use the material to build a nuclear bomb. Tehran insists that its atomic programme is a peaceful drive to produce energy.

Iran stepped up its uranium enrichment to 20 percent in February to make fuel for an ageing research reactor in Tehran amid international concern.


First Published: Sunday, July 18, 2010, 18:09

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