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Iran Says It Will Not Halt Uranium Enrichment

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman is saying 'no' to uranium-enrichment suspension (file photo) (Fars) February 18, 2007 -- Iran's Foreign Ministry said today that Tehran will not agree to suspend uranium enrichment as demanded by the UN Security Council.

The council has given Tehran until February 21 to halt the sensitive nuclear work. But spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told a weekly news conference that "suspension is unacceptable," and that there is "no ground" for it.

Hosseini said there is "no legal and logical justification" for suspension.

Bold Future

Hosseini's comments came a day after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the country's disputed nuclear program is its "future and destiny."

State television reported on February 17 that Khamenei had lashed out at critics who say the nuclear drive could cost Iran too much, saying the country's huge oil and gas reserves "would not last forever."

U.S. officials have repeatedly accused Iran of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has criticized Tehran for obfuscation and said it has not seen convincing evidence to persuade them that Iran's nuclear program is solely peaceful.

More Maneuvers Planned

In other news, Iran's Fars news agency announced today that Iran will stage its third round of military maneuvers in fewer than four weeks.

The agency quoted a statement by Iran's paramilitary Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as saying that IRGC forces will on February 19 begin the military games, codenamed Eqtedar (Might), in 16 provinces.

The IRGC held naval and air force maneuvers at the end January and beginning of February.

(dpa, AFP)

The Proliferation Threat

The Proliferation Threat

The Arak heavy-water plant in central Iran (Fars)

BENDING THE RULES. Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, told an RFE/RL-Radio Free Asia briefing on January 9 that the West is hamstrung in dealing with Iran and North Korea because of the way it has interpreted the international nonproliferation regime to benefit friendly countries like India and Japan.


Listen to the entire briefing (about 90 minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media


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