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Iran threatens to block nuclear inspections if referred to Security Council

[JURIST] Iran on Friday threatened to block inspections [IRNA report] of its nuclear facilities if the UN Security Council [official website] confronts it over its nuclear activities. Iran has been voluntarily allowing short-notice International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) [official website] inspections since 2003 but last year adopted a law requiring the government to block intrusive inspections of Iran's facilities if the IAEA refers the Iranian program to the UN Security Council. The law also requires the Iranian government to resume all nuclear activities that it had stopped voluntarily, especially enriching uranium, a process that can produce fuel for nuclear reactors to generate electricity or material for nuclear weapons. Earlier this week, Iran announced its intentions to resume nuclear research [JURIST report] and Thursday, European leaders joined with US officials in recommending a referral to the Security Council [JURIST report]. Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki [Wikipedia profile] said Iran was prepared for talks over uranium enrichment, but insisted that Iran won't give up its right under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty [PDF text] to possess the whole nuclear fuel cycle, from extracting uranium ore to enriching it. The IAEA will hold an emergency meeting next month over Iran's nuclear activities [IAEA materials]. AP has more.

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