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Iran threatens to withdraw from IAEA

Xinhua News Agency

August 13, 2006

Iran warned on Sunday that it would withdraw from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) if its "inalienable rights" are deprived of, the official IRNA news agency reported.

"If depriving Iran of its inalienable rights is the result of its membership in international organizations, including the IAEA, our withdrawal from such bodies is well justified," parliamentary speaker Gholam-Ali Hadad-Adel was quoted as saying.

He reiterated Iran's rejection to a UN Security Council resolution that urges Tehran to "suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development" by Aug. 31 or face the prospect of sanctions.

"Iran does not accept suspending its uranium enrichment activities," Hadad-Adel told an open session of the Iranian parliament.

"There is no single reason to justify their decision for depriving a country of its rights and peaceful activities, while all the reports released by the IAEA inspectors have stated that there exists not even an iota of diversion in Iran's nuclear activities and researches towards military purposes," he said.

The Iranian parliament chief, however, emphasized that the path of negotiations was still open to solve the country's nuclear issue.

"We are still keen to resolve the issue through talks because we believe that our view points and stances are logical," Hadad- Adel said.

"Yet, if they (the West countries) prove to have opted for another course of action, we will certainly change our path," he added.

Iranian officials have recently expressed indignation over the UN demand, warning the world body against taking acrimonious measures to force Iran to comply or Iran would quit the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and stop cooperation with the IAEA.

The United States has accused Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons under a civilian front, a charge categorically denied by Tehran which says that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

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