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Iranian Official: Tehran Will Not Give Up Right to Enrich Uranium


Iran's envoy to the U.N. nuclear agency says Tehran will never cede what he called its "inalienable right" to enrich uranium, but is prepared to resolve outstanding issues about its nuclear program.

Ali Asghar Soltanieh spoke Monday in response to comments by the top U.N. nuclear inspector that the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency is still unable to verify that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons.

Mohamed ElBaradei said the IAEA cannot make that determination because of Iran's refusal to cooperate with U.N. nuclear investigators.

ElBaradei made his remarks in Vienna at a meeting Monday of the IAEA's 35-nation board. The board is expected this week to approve cuts of more than 20 technical aid projects to Iran, as Tehran defies U.N. demands to suspend its sensitive nuclear work.

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 AFP, AP and Reuters.

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