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Iran Threatens to Reconsider Nuclear Plan


An Iranian diplomat says Iran may reconsider its recent uranium enrichment deal with Turkey if the U.N. Security Council moves forward with new sanctions.

The Iranian ambassador to Russia, Seyed Mahmoud Reza Sajjadi, says if new sanctions are imposed on Iran, it would become clear that Security Council members are pursuing political motives. Russia's Itar-Tass news agency quotes the ambassador as saying Tuesday that Iran would then "revise" its agreement.

Monday, Iran submitted a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) outlining a plan to send 1,200 kilograms of low-enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for higher-grade fuel for a medical research reactor in Tehran.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters in Beijing Tuesday that there are a "number of deficiencies" in the plan that do not address concerns raised by the international community. She called the deal a "transparent ploy" to avoid Security Council action.

Clinton said she discussed what she found to be "shortcomings" in the Iranian response with Chinese officials.

New British Prime Minister David Cameron told parliament Tuesday that he believes it is time to increase the pressure on Iran. He said his government has "a clear objective to ensure stronger U.N. and EU sanctions against Iran."

Mr. Cameron said even if Iran were to complete the uranium enrichment agreement, it would still retain about half of its stockpile of low-enriched uranium.

The U.S., China and Britain are three of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. All five approved a draft resolution for a fourth round of sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.

Iran agreed to the uranium exchange plan last week in meetings with Brazil and Turkey. On Monday, the U.S. State Department said the IAEA had requested input from the United States on the new plan.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but the United States and its allies accuse Tehran of trying to build a nuclear weapon.

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

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