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Stop countering nuclear drive, Iran tells world powers

Last Updated: Monday, August 24, 2009 - 14:14

Tehran: Iran told world powers on Monday they must stop working against its atomic drive and instead adopt a policy of interaction with the Islamic republic to resolve the nuclear crisis.
"It is the right time for the other parties to review their policy. Rather than countering Iran, they should interact with Iran," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi told reporters.

World powers and Israel are at loggerheads with Iran over its nuclear programme which they suspect is aimed at making atomic weapons, a charge consistently denied by Tehran.

Ghashghavi also dismissed threats of additional sanctions on Iran if it fails to abide by international demands to halt uranium enrichment, a process which makes fuel for nuclear plants but can also be diverted to make the core of an atomic bomb.

"Past experience has shown that sanctions are futile. Sanctions will not prevent us from pursuing our legal rights," he said.

‘Cooperating with IAEA’

Iran will continue to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday, appearing to confirm Tehran had let inspectors access a reactor under construction after blocking visits for a year.

The International Atomic Energy Agency is due to release a report on Iran`s disputed nuclear program this week. Last week diplomats accredited to the Vienna-based agency said Iran had allowed the IAEA to inspect the Arak heavy water reactor site.

The UN agency had urged Iran to grant access so it can verify that the site under construction is for peaceful uses only. The diplomats also said Iran had recently allowed an upgrade to monitoring at the Natanz uranium enrichment plant.

The moves were greeted with scepticism by the West, which suspects Iran is seeking to build nuclear bombs. Tehran says its nuclear work is to generate electricity. Uranium enrichment can have both civilian and military uses.

US President Barack Obama has given Iran until September to take up an offer by world powers of talks if it freezes uranium enrichment, or face harsher sanctions.

Iran has long insisted that it has a right to nuclear technology as it is a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, August 24, 2009 - 14:14
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