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Iran rejects UN call to cease nuclear program as deadline passes

[JURIST] Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [official profile; BBC profile] on Thursday once again said that Iran will not cease its uranium enrichment program, despite an August 31 deadline [JURIST report] set by UN Security Council Resolution 1696 [PDF text], stating that "the Iranian nation will not accept for one moment any bullying, invasion and violation of its rights." Non-compliance with the deadline may lead to economic and political sanctions for Iran under the resolution, but is currently unclear what those sanctions might entail. President Ahmadinejad dismissed the resolution [JURIST report] immediately after its passage, citing Iran's right to peaceful use of nuclear fuel.

The United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China have separately offered a package of commercial incentives aimed at persuading Iran to end nuclear enrichment. Iranian officials have continuously asserted that it is Iran's right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to continue with its nuclear program [JURIST report], which they insist is peaceful [UN Iran Mission backgrounder, PDF] and not directed at the production of nuclear weapons. AP has more.

11:25 AM ET - The International Atomic Energy Agency [official website] has confirmed that Iran shows no signs of stopping its enrichment program and, according to a report obtained by AP, started work on a new batch of uranium last week. The IAEA report to the Security Council clears the way for the council to impose sanctions on Iran [JURIST news archive]. AP has more.

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