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Iran to defy ban on enriching uranium

Sept. 17, 2004 at 8:06 AM

TEHRAN, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Influential Iran cleric Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani Friday said his country would reject any international ban on enriching uranium.

The Iranian News Agency, IRNA, quoted Rafsanjani as saying "we cannot accept any decision calling on Iran to suspend the process of enriching uranium."

Rafsanjani, president for two terms from 1989-97 and currently chairman of the powerful Expediency Council, warned if the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, ruled against Iran's nuclear programs "it will be defying its mission and should be condemned."

He said Iran will appeal to the International Tribunal in The Hague if the IAEA imposes such a ban.

"Any fair and just judge in The Hague would definitely rule against such an IAEA decision," Rafsanjani said. "Iran has proved several times that it does not surrender to arrogance by international organizations and will not give up its legitimate right to develop peaceful nuclear power."

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