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Iran Threatens To Increase Uranium Enrichment If Sanctions Are Tightened

A top Iranian official says Tehran will increase its enrichment of uranium if the West imposes new sanctions.

Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani said on January 15 that lawmakers would pass legislation to increase enrichment levels by up to 60 percent if new economic sanctions are imposed on the Islamic nation by Western countries.

Larijani said: "Our enemies should understand that they cannot play political tricks on Iran. Iranian decision makers are aware of the issues."

He added that 218 of the 290 members of parliament approve of the draft legislation.

Larijani's comments came as U.S. lawmakers pressed ahead with a plan for more sanctions on Iran, despite the White House warning they risked derailing nuclear talks.

A new round of talks between Iran and six world powers aimed at curbing uranium enrichment and other Iranian nuclear activities in exchange for the removal of existing sanctions are scheduled for January 18 in Geneva.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Radio Farda, Fars, and
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