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Iran won't halt uranium enrichment

Iran won't suspend uranium enrichment even after the United Nations Security Council called for it to do so or face possible sanctions, Ali Larijani, Iran's nuclear negotiator, said in Tehran on Sunday. The Islamic Republic „will not agree to suspension” of uranium enrichment, Larijani told reporters at a press conference. „The resolution will have no effect on Iran's determination. Iran will continue its nuclear activity.” The Security Council passed a resolution July 31 giving Iran a month to accept a European Union-proposed package of incentives to end its uranium enrichment work. Larijani criticized Western powers for a „two-faced approach,” saying, „they talk of winning our trust, mention constructive negotiations and then use the Security Council tools.” The EU-led, US-backed offer was formally presented to Iran on June 6 by the Security Council's five permanent members (US, UK, France, Russia and China, plus Germany). The Security Council resolution came after Iran neglected calls to suspend its uranium enrichment work and to give a prompt reply to the June 6 proposal. The offer includes giving Iran access to light-water nuclear reactors, the lifting of some US sanctions and the possibility to join the World Trade Organization. Iranian officials maintain that Iran, as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, is entitled to a nuclear program for civilian purposes. The US and some European allies suspect Iran wants to develop atomic weapons. Enriched uranium can fuel an atomic reactor or form a bomb's core. (Bloomberg)