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Iran Rejects IAEA's Demand To Freeze Uranium Enrichment

IAEA head Muhammad el-Baradei (file photo) Tehran, 19 September 2004 -- Iran's top nuclear official today rejected the UN nuclear agency's demand that Iran freeze its uranium-enrichment programs.

Hassan Rowhani also said Iran will stop allowing UN inspectors to make snap inspections at its nuclear facilities if Iran is referred to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

Rowhani's remarks came after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) passed a resolution on 18 September calling on Iran to immediately suspend its uranium-enrichment activities and provide a complete review of its nuclear program by 25 November.

Uranium enrichment is a process that can produce fuel for civilian nuclear reactors but also material for atomic weapons.

U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said on 19 September that Washington believes Tehran should cooperate fully with the IAEA.The United States argues that Iran is covertly trying to develop nuclear arms. Iran denies the charge.