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Iranian FM: No Reason for Iran to Suspend Nuclear Activities


Iran's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, says his country has no reason to suspend its nuclear activities.

Iranian state television Friday quoted Mottaki, who also said Iran will not use oil as a weapon in the international standoff over its nuclear program.

Iran has ignored an August 31 United Nations Security Council deadline to suspend uranium enrichment.

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Friday that the foreign ministers of major world powers will discuss the next step in the standoff in a conference call over the next couple of days.

The spokesman said he expects the powers to follow through and go down the pathway of sanctions if Iran does not clearly say it will suspend uranium enrichment.

The spokesman said the five permanent members of the Security Council (the U.S., Britain, France, China and Russia) plus Germany will take part in the consultations.

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Iranian negotiator Ali Larijani ended two days of talks in Berlin Thursday on Iran's nuclear program. Both sides reported progress, but there was no deal.

The West suspects that Iran's uranium enrichment is part of a program to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says it is pursuing nuclear technology only for peaceful purposes.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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