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Iran Rules Out Suspending Nuclear Activity

Isfahan facility (file photo) 11 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki reiterated today that resuming a suspension of uranium-conversion activities at the Isfahan nuclear plant is "out of the question."

"The resumption of the Isfahan plant's suspension is not part of our agenda and is out of the question for us," he said, adding that Tehran will soon invite tenders from companies around the world for the construction of two more nuclear power stations.

Iran's decision to resume work at Isfahan last month led to a virtual breakdown of two-year-long talks between the EU and Tehran.

The United States, which accuses Iran of secretly seeking to produce nuclear weapons, and EU leaders have threatened to refer Iran to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

Iran says its nuclear program is aimed solely at generating electricity.

Mottaki, speaking at his first press conference since he took up the post, said referring the issue to the Security Council would have "consequences." He did not say what those consequences may be.

Mottaki said Iran wants talks with the EU to restart without preconditions.