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Iran nuclear program breaks no law, British MP insists as furor intensifies

[JURIST] Iran [JURIST news archive] is permitted to develop a civil nuclear program and its resumption of uranium processing does not violate the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), a leading British lawmaker said Thursday. Labor Party MP Jeremy Corbyn [official website], vice-chairman of the parliamentary Human Rights group, said in a letter [text] to the Guardian newspaper that Iran's decision to halt production had been a voluntary precaution taken while Iran negotiated with the UN to add favorable protocols to the NPT before they were brought before the UN Security Council, and so it was free to resume production. Last month the Security Council adopted [JURIST report] a statement [press release] directing Iran to cease production, but it was nonbinding. On Tuesday, Iran announced [BBC report] that its scientists had successfully enriched uranium to make nuclear fuel.

Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) [official website] and the US government continue to press Iran to end its nuclear program. During a press conference held during a 24-hour trip to Iran [IAEA press release], IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei called for Iran to cease uranium enrichment immediately, while Iran's nuclear spokesperson refused to back down [AP report]. The IAEA has until the end of the month to advise the Security Council as to whether Iran has only peaceful intentions behind their nuclear ambitions. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said [AP report] Thursday that the Security Council [official website] should consider adopting a resolution against Iran under Chapter 7 [text] of the UN charter, which permits a military response to maintain or restore international peace and security. Russia and China, who have veto power over Security Council resolutions, have thusfar opposed its application to Iran. From Iran, IRNA has local coverage.

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