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Iran says it's wrong to think nuclear activity slowed

Iran says it's wrong to think nuclear activity slowed
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi (R) speaks during news briefing as UN special envoy for Syrian affairs Akhzar Ebrahimi looks on in Tehran, Iran on October 14, 2012. UPI/Maryam Rahmanian | License Photo

TEHRAN, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Ali Akbar Salehi, one of Iran's top nuclear officials, said Thursday there was no basis to claims that Iran's nuclear activities had slowed down.

Salehi, director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, was quoted by the official Islamic Republic News Agency as saying Iran would never give up its rights to a peaceful nuclear program. Any claims to the contrary, he said, are "baseless and wrong."

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Iran agreed to certain nuclear concessions under the terms an interim nuclear deal reached with Western negotiators last month in Geneva, Switzerland.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday the Geneva agreement shouldn't be seen as an indication Iran was giving up on nuclear research.

U.S. Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen said the federal government sanctioned several Iranian companies and individuals for evading the international effort to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions.

"We remain committed to vigorously enforcing our sanctions regime and to exposing the government of Iran's efforts to use deceptive practices and front companies to further its nuclear program," he said in a statement Thursday.

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The Iranian government said any additional sanctions pressure would undermine its confidence in Western negotiators.

Iran is suspected of pursuing the technology needed to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency said Wednesday they agreed on transparency measures in the nuclear arena.

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