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Iran Dismisses US Warning of Strong UN Action


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has dismissed a warning from U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that Iran could face strong action by the U.N. Security Council.

Iran's state-run news agency says Mr. Ahmadinejad spoke Friday on the sidelines of a conference in Tehran on Palestinian support.

He said Rice is free to speak out, but that her comments were not important.

On Thursday, Rice said Iran could face escalating international penalties if it ignores a Security Council demand to halt its nuclear work. She said one option is the chapter seven resolution of the U.N. charter, which could allow for military action.

Her comments came as Tehran rejected an appeal from the International Atomic Energy Agency to suspend uranium enrichment activities.

Earlier this week, Iran claimed to be enriching uranium to a level used in nuclear power plants.

Last month, the U.N. Security Council gave Iran 30 days to suspend uranium enrichment. The The IAEA is expected to report to the Council on Iran's compliance by April 28.

The United States accuses Iran of running a secret nuclear weapons program - a charge Tehran denies.

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