- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 19, 2004


TEHRAN — Iran will resume some of the nuclear activities it suspended under world pressure and is considering restarting uranium enrichment, its top nuclear official said yesterday, defying a resolution from the U.N. nuclear watchdog that rebuked Iran for past cover-ups in its nuclear program.

Iran also rejected demands by the U.N. agency to stop building a heavy water nuclear reactor and halt operations of a nuclear conversion facility in central Iran.

“Iran will reconsider its decision about suspension and will do some uranium activity in the coming days,” Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Hasan Rowhani said.

Mr. Rowhani did not say what activities would be resumed. Chief among the suspended activities was the building of parts for centrifuges used in the enrichment process.

Resuming uranium enrichment could spark a crisis in international attempts to resolve questions of Iran’s nuclear program. The United States accuses Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, while Iran insists its program is peaceful, aiming only to produce energy.

On Friday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) passed a resolution rebuking Iran for not cooperating enough in the probe into its nuclear program.

The European-drafted resolution said the IAEA “deplores” that “Iran’s cooperation has not been as full, timely and proactive as it should have been,” angering Tehran.

Mr. Rowhani said Iran would continue to work with the IAEA and allow inspections of its facilities.

“If they (the IAEA) have any ambiguities, problems or want to visit sites, they can raise it with us and we will solve it,” he said.

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