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Mottaki: Iran will Never Suspend Uranium Enrichment


Iran's foreign minister says his country will never suspend uranium enrichment as demanded by the United Nations Security Council.

Speaking in Tehran Tuesday, Manouchehr Mottaki said demands to halt enriching uranium are "illegitimate." However, he said Iran is prepared for talks on its nuclear program, but he said those talks should be held without preconditions.

In London, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Iran is "making a big miscalculation" in its refusal to halt sensitive nuclear work. Mr. Blair said the comments from Iran are "very worrying" because they are indicating they want to defy the international community.

Iran ignored a Security Council deadline last week, February 21, to suspend uranium enrichment or face new sanctions, on top of those imposed in December.

Monday, a senior British official from the Foreign Office said six world powers have started drafting a new U.N. resolution on Iran's nuclear program.

Representatives from Germany and the Security Council's five permanent members - the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China - met in London Monday to discuss the issue.

The United States says it is seeking "incremental" steps to tighten sanctions and further pressure Iran.

The United States and its Western allies suspect Iran is working to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

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

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