No plans to end enrichment, Iran says

Aug. 29, 2012 at 12:34 PM
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TEHRAN, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Iran has no intention of abandoning its rights under international laws and end its uranium enrichment program, the Iranian envoy to the IAEA said.

Iranian delegates met last week in Vienna with members of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The IAEA described the meetings as amicable but inspectors said they were concerned about potential military aspects of Iran's nuclear program.

Iranian envoy to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh said on the sidelines of preparations in Tehran for the Non-Aligned Movement summit that Iran was entitled to a peaceful nuclear program under international law.

"We will not relinquish our inalienable rights to peaceful use of nuclear energy and uranium enrichment," he was quoted by Tehran Times as saying.

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China -- along with Germany have called on Iran to halt production of uranium enriched to 20 percent, which Iran says it needs for medical research.

Western powers, however, say it's a benchmark that would make it easier to reach the 90 percent purity needed for a nuclear weapon.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is among those attending the NAM summit, which gets under way Friday. His spokesman said the secretary-general will convey the "clear concerns" expressed by members of the international community regarding Iran's nuclear program.

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